Platinum Group Metals Increases Their Western Bushveld Holdings, South Africa
April 11, 2003
Platinum Group Metals Ltd, (PTM: TSX-V) is pleased to announce the addition of 749 hectares to their Onderstepoort property in the Western Bushveld complex, South Africa, through the successful completion of three additional property agreements.
The Onderstepoort property, now totaling over 944 hectares (2, 332 acres), lies northwest and along strike of PTM''s Elandsfontein property, where PTM is currently drilling to define the extent and grade of the UG2 reef occurrence (PTM News Release 3/27/03) and the Merensky reef. The Elandsfontein Property adjoins Anglo Platinum''s producing Bafokeng-Rasimone Platinum mine.
PTM is now a significant mineral rights holder in the Western Bushveld Complex. Drilling continues on the Elandsfontein Property, with 25 holes yet to be completed in the current drill program. Results released from the early stages of this program, announced March 27, 2003, show UG-2 reef layer intersections in all holes completed. Assay results from 15 completed holes are pending and drilling is continuing.
The UG-2 and Merensky reefs form the two main platinum producing layers in the Bushveld Complex. These layers exhibit consistent grade and thickness for hundreds of kilometers along the Bushveld Complex. At Elandsfontein the Merensky Reef has also recently been intersected by PTM in two down-dip drill holes near the northern property boundary. Assays are pending and drilling will now be focused on the shallow, up-dip extent of the reefs to test their opencast potential.
In addition to property holdings in the Western Bushveld Complex, South Africa, PTM is also a significant holder of mineral rights in the Northern Limb of the Bushveld Complex and in the Lac des Iles and Sudbury areas, in Canada.
The Northern Limb of the Bushveld complex is one of the most active exploration areas for platinum in South Africa with extensive large scale drilling programs and a large scale open pit platinum mine currently in production. As previously released, PTM has filed a legal appeal process to obtain prospecting permits on it''s War Springs Property and has a pending application on it''s Tweespalk property -- both in the northern limb of the Bushveld complex.
On the War Springs property the company has received a summons to court from a third party that disputes the Company''s option agreement and prospecting permit application. The vendor of the property to PTM does not dispute the PTM agreement and has joined the Company in defense of the existing agreements and rights. PTM has received expert legal advice that the claim is without merit and the Company is vigorously defending its agreement and the pursuit of the rightful permission to prospect.
In Canada, PTM holds a large property position in the Lac des Iles area and has an active joint venture with Anglo Platinum in the Sudbury Ontario area at Agnew Lake. A $ 1.25M drill program was completed in 2002 and results are awaited from Pacific Northwest Capital, the project operator. A further program for 2003 is being planned.
Details of Onderstepoort property agreements:
The first agreement is for a further 42.5% of the two portions of the farm Onderstepoort 98JQ property where an initial 50% Option Interest was announced January 24, 2003. (195 hectares) The remaining 7.5% interest in these two portions has the right to participate following the exercise of PTM''s option or convert to a 1% Net Smelter Return Royalty ("NSR"). Also the Company has acquired the right to purchase 42.5% of two portions of the farm Mimosa 81JQ (297 hectares) under the same agreement and participation terms. The optional agreement provides for payments of 117,000 Rand (Canadian $21,700 at current exchange rates) on signing, 234,000 Rand (C$43,300) within ten days of a prospecting permit, 390,000 Rand (C$72,200) within six months of a prospecting permit, 780,000 Rand (C$144,500) within 1 year of the prospecting permit, 1,560,000 Rand (C$289,000) within 2 years of a prospecting permit and 2,769,000 Rand (C$513,000) within 3 years of the prospecting permit. PTM may terminate the agreement at any time after the initial payment.
The second and third agreements are for a 100% interest in two additional portions of Onderstepoort 98JQ property, (452 hectares). Under these option agreements prospecting fees of C$6,000 over the first year are payable and the mineral rights can be purchased for a total of 3,000,000 Rand (C$556,000) at the end of the three years from the granting of a Prospecting Permit. A 1% NSR Royalty must also be provided to the mineral rights holders but PTM holds the option to purchase this NSR for 6,000,000 Rand (C$1,100,000). PTM is required to complete 200,000 Rand (C$37,000) in exploration in the three years from grant of a Prospecting Permit. Applications for Prospecting Permits have been applied for on all of the newly acquired properties.
The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the accuracy or adequacy of this news release, which has been prepared by management.
Note to U.S. Investors: Investors are urged to consider closely the disclosure in our Form 20F, File No. 0-30306, available at our office: Suite 800 -- 409 Granville Street, Vancouver BC, Canada, V6C 1T2 or from the SEC: 1(800) SEC-0330.