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Palladium hunter secures funds to advance Thunder Bay mine project

Clean Air Metals lands financing for exploration and pre-feasibility study at Thunder Bay North Project
Clean Air Metals core shack
(Photo by Ethan Beardy of Clean Air Metals)

A Thunder Bay exploration firm, working a proposed mine project north of the city, has struck a financing deal with a streaming and royalty company to take full possession of the high-grade platinum group metals property.

Clean Air Metals announced it’s closed the first tranche of $10 million of a $15-million mineral royalty financing deal with Triple Flag Precious Metals.

A portion of the money is earmarked to make a final payment of $1.5 million payment to Panoramic Resources, the Australian company that Clean Air Metals acquired the Thunder Bay North Project from in 2020 for $9 million.  

The financing agreement delivers a 2.5 per cent net smelter mining royalty to Triple Flag for mineral production at Thunder Bay North.

The rest of the funds will be spent on exploration activity on the property, securing environmental and regulatory permitting, and on a pre-feasibility study which will feature the design of a mine. 
Thunder Bay North is Clean Air Metals’ one and only asset. The platinum, palladium, copper and nickel property is located 50 kilometres north of Thunder Bay on Highway 527, the road leading to Impala’s Lac Des Iles palladium mine.

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The company touts the property as having huge upside for the kind of critical minerals that electric vehicle makers and governments want. The project hosts two parallel deposits, dubbed Current and Escape.

A preliminary economic assessment, released late last year, proposed a $367-million ramp-access underground mine with an on-site 3,600 tonne-per-day mill. 

The initial mine life is 10 years but with ongoing exploration and likely more resources to be proven up the mine’s operational life will likely be extended. 

"The exploration upside at this Mid-Continent Rift related mineral system being developed at Thunder Bay North is considerable,” said Abraham Drost, Clean Air Metals’ CEO in a Dec. 19 news release.

“We look forward to continuing the search for the source of high value massive sulphide deposits in feeder zone structures, for the benefit of our Indigenous partners and other stakeholders, Clean Air Metals shareholders and our new finance partner Triple Flag Precious Metals Corp."

Clean Air Chairman Jim Gallagher welcomed Triple Flag’s confidence in his company’s ability to advance a mine project.

"This sizeable, early-stage investment by Triple Flag made after a significant due diligence review demonstrates the inherent potential value of the Thunder Bay North Critical Minerals Project.” 

In recent months, the company has been releasing a steady stream of encouraging drill results as they queue up a target list for an upcoming winter exploration program.