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Aquarius Platinum Limited is a major global producer of platinum metals. These include Platinum Group Metals (PGM) that are abundant in the Bushveld Complex of South Africa: iridium, ruthenium, osmium, platinum, rhodium and palladium. The company primarily mines gold, palladium, rhodium and platinum (otherwise known as 'the 4E') – with the latter accounting for over half of its yield. Within Aquarius' South African mining complex, its Kroondal operation is the most productive, generating over half of the company's overall yield, followed by Mimosa, and finally Platinum Mile.
The Mining Process at Aquarius Platinum Limited
There are four stages to the mining process with Aquarius PGM. These include the exploration phase, the mining phase, the processing phase and sales. During exploration, there is substantial development of the mine and construction efforts. This largely takes place in the Bushveld Complex.
The underground mining phase is next and this includes shallow PGM ore deposits. The capital costs are lower and there is a greater degree of capital intensive production at this point. The processing phase includes crushing the ore, using flotation and drying, and then producing PGM concentrate. The final step in the process is the sale of the concentrate to 2 specific customers for smelting/refining.
All PGM concentrate from Aquarius Platinum Limited is non-toxic. However, all necessary safety and security measures are put in place to ensure the safe handling, transportation and processing of this material. The two customers that the company sells to are RPM and IRS. Aquarius' ore is used in the production of fuel cells, jewellery, industrial applications, and autocatalysts among others.