Quelle: FIN24.ZA. CO vom 19.10.05
Gold Fields Limited / North American Palladium Ltd -
North American Palladium
and Gold Fields Announce Option/Joint Venture on the Arctic Platinum Project
Gold Fields Limited
(Reg. No. 1968/004880/06)
(Incorporated in the Republic of South Africa)
Share Code: GFI
ISIN Code: ZAE000018123
24 St. Andrews Road
Postnet Suite 252
Private Bag X30500
JSE - GFI
NYSE - GFI
North American Palladium Ltd
130 Adelaide Street West
Trading Symbols TSX - PDL
AMEX - PAL
October 19, 2005
North American Palladium and Gold Fields Announce Option/Joint Venture on the
Arctic Platinum Project
Toronto, Ontario - North American Palladium Ltd. ("NAP") and Gold Fields Limited
("Gold Fields") are pleased to announce the companies have entered into a letter
of intent to form a joint venture to further explore mining properties and
develop a mine at the Arctic Platinum Project ("APP") located in Finland.
APP"s location and geology are quite similar to that of NAP"s Lac des Iles mine
in Northwestern Ontario and will permit NAP to utilize its operating and
development experience in the design and construction of a mine at APP.
NAP will be granted an option to acquire up to a 60% undivided interest in APP
including the Suhanko, SJ Reef and SK Reef mining properties and claims located
south of Rovaniemi, Finland (collectively the "Project"). NAP"s option to
acquire its interest in APP will vest upon NAP satisfying the following
conditions on or before June 30, 2008: (i) completing a US$7.5 million re-
scoping study and exploration program and US$5.0 million feasibility study; (ii)
making a decision to develop a mine at the Project; and (iii) paying Gold Fields
up to US$45 million through the issuance of NAP common shares. The price per
share will be the weighted average trading price on the American Stock Exchange
for 11 trading days commencing October 11, 2005.
During the next stage of work, NAP will manage the exploration, engineering and
evaluation activity on APP. This work will be divided into two phases, Phase I:
a re-scoping study and Phase II: a feasibility study. The proposed exploration
program will focus on APP"s SK Reef and SJ Reef projects. The feasibility study
will generate a report with sufficient engineering detail and cost estimates in
order for the Project to be considered for project financing or other suitable
The re-scoping study on the Project will address the following objectives:
define a combined mineable resource of 5 million ounces of 2PGE + Au at grades
greater than 3.0 grams per tonne.
exploration on the SK Reef and SJ Reef mining projects to drill and examine
mining claims that have the potential to satisfy the target grades, obtain
sufficient data to create a new geological model that supports a combined mine
plan for the Project and identify other high potential geological zones along
the Archaean-Proterozoic contact.
examine various mine design options to efficiently exploit all identified APP
resources and produce a marketable product in a cost-effective manner.
evaluate the metallurgy of various ore types contained within the Project and
categorize as to possible processing options.
The re-scoping and feasibility studies are expected to commence in the first
quarter of 2006 and take approximately 30 months to complete.
Upon NAP"s acquisition of an interest in APP, a joint venture of APP will be
formed with NAP holding a 60% interest and Gold Fields holding a 40% interest.
Gold Fields will have a back-in right to acquire an additional 10% interest in
APP and consideration for such interest will be paid by reducing the number of
NAP common shares issued to Gold Fields by 20%. NAP will remain operator of the
joint venture which will be managed under a Joint Venture arrangement.
Completion of the transaction is subject to a number of conditions including
among other things, negotiating and executing a formal option and joint venture
agreement and receipt of all required regulatory and third party approvals and
consents, including the approvals of the Toronto and American Stock Exchanges
and the South African Reserve Bank.
Gold Fields is one of the world"s largest gold producers, with annual unhedged
gold production of approximately 4.2 million ounces, reserves of 64.8 million
ounces and mineral resources of 174.5 million ounces. Gold Fields is listed on
the JSE (primary listing), NYSE, LSE, Euronext in Paris and Brussels, and on the
North American Palladium"s Lac des Iles Mine is Canada"s only primary producer
of platinum group metals and is one of the largest open pit bulk mineable
palladium reserves in the world. The Company also earns substantial revenue
from by-product nickel, platinum, gold and copper. In addition to operating Lac
des Iles, the Company"s mandate is to expand its production profile through an
aggressive exploration campaign, designed to increase its exposure to base and
precious metals. Palladium use in the auto industry continues to be an
important component in controlling exhaust emissions as mandated by more
stringent hydrocarbon emissions standards for cars, particularly in the United
States, Europe and Japan. Palladium is also used in the dental, electronics,
jewellery and chemical sectors.
For further information, please
North American Palladium Ltd. Gold Fields Limited
Andr J. Douchane South Africa
President & CEO Willie Jacobsz
Tel: (416) 360-2656 Tel: +27 11 644-2630
Douglas H. Bache - Treasurer Nerina Bodasing
Tel: (416) 360-2651 Tel: +27 11 644-2460
Krista Muhr - Manager North America
Investor Relations Cheryl A. Martin
Tel: (416) 360-2652 Tel: (303) 796-8683