Aquarius -- acquisition of mineral rights
Aquarius Platinum Ltd ("Aquarius" or the "company") announced the acquisition of platinum group metal ("PGM") mineral rights by way of the purchase of Afarak Platinum (Pty) Ltd ("Afarak"), a private company incorporated in South Africa (the "transaction"), following the fulfilment of all conditions including the granting of competition commission approval last week. Following the transaction, Aquarius will hold both directly and indirectly 74% of the outstanding share capital of Afarak, with the remaining 26% held by Watervale (Pty) Ltd ("Watervale"), an empowerment company controlled by Savannah Resources (Pty) Ltd, Aquarius' major shareholder and black economic empowerment partner of many years. The company has an indirect 47% interest in Watervale.
Summary of transaction
Afarak's assets comprise interests in the new order prospecting rights to two properties known as Hoedspruit and Kruidfontein, both underlain by the Merensky and UG2 PGM bearing reefs. Both properties are located on the Western Limb of South Africa's Bushveld Igneous Complex. Afarak has a 100% interest in Hoedspruit and the right to earn a 50% interest in Kruidfontein through additional exploration expenditure as detailed below. The Hoedspruit licence area is located near to the town of Rustenburg in the North West Province. Hoedspruit contains 7.23 million 4E PGM ounces comprising 6.22 million ounces of indicated and 1.01 million ounces of inferred PGM resources before geological loss adjustments. The Kruidfontein licence area is north of the Pilanesberg. Kruidfontein contains 45.40 million 4E PGM ounces comprising 4.29 million ounces of indicated and 41.11 million ounces of inferred PGM resources before geological loss adjustments. At Hoedspruit the Merensky reef horizon occurs at depths below surface ranging from 898m to 1 315m whilst the depth of the UG2 reef varies from 1 042m to 1 408m. At Kruidfontein the Merensky reef was intersected at depths below surface ranging from 1 135m to 2 395m and the UG2 reef between 1 150m and 2 409m. The total consideration for the acquisition of Afarak of US$109.7 million will be settled via a cash payment of USD70.2 million and the issue of 6 804 162 fully paid common shares in Aquarius. In addition, Aquarius has the right, but no obligation, to spend USD15 million of exploration expenditure at Kruidfontein in order to acquire, via 100% of Afarak, a 50% interest in that property.