North American Palladium has been in production at Lac des Iles Mine (LDI) for more than 20 years.
Some new results from an underground exploration program indicate there may be plenty of life still left in the northwestern Ontario mine, located 90 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay.
The Toronto-headquartered miner released drilling results from LDI’s Offset South Zone, April 5.
One hole intersected 149 metres averaging 1.8 gram/tonne (g/t) palladium, including 17 metres averaging 2.9 g/t and 33 metres averaging 3.1.
Another hole intersected 92 metres averaging 1.3 g/t, including 8.0 metres of 3.5 g/t and another 79-metre interval averaging 1.49 g/t with 3.9 metres of 6.0 g/t.
The company said previous results included several holes with higher grade palladium mineralization and concentrations of platinum, gold, nickel and copper concentrations, the same as is being mined in the central part of the Offset Zone. These by-product metal sales have accounted for 20 per cent of total mine revenue.
The southern half of the Offset Zone has been an exploration focus since mid-2017 with 15 holes and more than 7,700 metres completed so far.
More exploration is planned for this year to further delineate the resources, which are located next to their main underground operations.
In a statement, company president-CEO Jim Gallagher was pleased with the results, which “confirm the zone has the widths required for mass mining with our well-established, low-cost, sub-level shrinkage method.”
“Infill drilling is now required to determine the average grade within this highly prospective zone. Future resource gains from this and our many other near-mine exploration targets can extend the life of the mine at a very low capital cost.”
Drilling shows the south part of the Offset Zone splits into two mineralized trends called the “pantleg” structure.
Both trends are open along strike and at depth, and according to the company, “represent the highest ranked targets for adding palladium resources at LDI” in the near term.
North American Palladium said there are other underground targets they’re pursuing in the Offset and Roby Zones that are currently under production, plus some opportunities to unearth more resources near the surface with two drill targets already identified on the east part of the mine property.