Winter and spring drilling on a northwestern Ontario base metals property has produced some high-grade results for an area mining company.
In an April 29 news release, North American Palladium (NAP) said the outcome of its exploration program shows “extensive” platinum group metals (PGM) mineralization on the Sunday Lake property, 25 kilometres north of Thunder Bay.
The Sunday Lake Project is a joint venture between Impala Platinum Holdings and Transition Metals of Sudbury.
NAP has an option agreement to acquire a 75 per cent ownership stake in Sunday Lake if it spends $4.5 milllion to work the property and makes cash payments of $3.5 million over five years. Transition retains a 25 per cent free carried interest in the project through to the completion of a feasibility study.
From February to April, NAP has drilled 7,300 metres in six holes at Sunday Lake.
One intersection yielded 41.20 metres at 5.51 grams per tonne (g/t) of platinum group metals of platinum, palladium and gold, and 0.57 per cent copper, including a high-grade section of 15.80 metres at 9.11 g/t PGM and 0.88 per cent copper.
In terms of geological structure, Sunday Lake hosts an intrusion which is part of the larger Mid-Continental Rift system that’s produced Lundin Mining’s Eagle nickel deposit in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and other promising plays, such as Rio Tinto’s Tamarack Project and Antofagasta’s Plc’s magmatic sulphide deposits, just across the border in northern Minnesota.
In a statement, NAP president-CEO Jim Gallagher envisions projects like Sunday Lake providing potential feedstock for his company’s Lac des Iles mine-mill complex, 60 kilometres to the north.
“This is currently our most advanced regional exploration project and represents our best blue-sky opportunity and a key element in our long-term strategy of building an inventory of high-quality PGM assets in the Thunder Bay region,” he said.
NAP said there remain numerous high-quality targets still be followed up and tested at Sunday Lake. In a news release, Transition Metals president and CEO Scott McLean commended NAP on their “breakthrough” with the project.
“We’ve had tremendous exploration success at Sunday Lake since drilling the discovery hole in 2013. These recent drill results provided by option partner NAP, are the best reported to date, and comparable in overall grade to what is currently being mined by NAP at its nearby Lac Des Illes mine and mill complex. “