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CAPE TOWN, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Canadian miner Platinum Group Metals (PGM) plans to begin production at its new $500 million South African mine by next year before ramping up to full production of 275,000 ounces a year in 2017, its CEO said.
The shallow Western Bushveld mine situated in the platinum rich belt close to Rustenberg in the North West province. South Africa's Bushveld Complex is estimated to contain about 90 percent of the world's platinum resources.
"This is really the last big piece of Merensky reef available above a thousand meters," said Michael Jones, the chief executive of PGM told Reuters on the sidelines of an African mining conference.
South Africa's platinum industry, which is the world's top producer of the white metal used for emissions-capping catalytic converters in automobiles, is still recovering from last year's record five-month strike that cut production. (Reporting by Wendell Roelf; Editing by James Macharia)