Skip to content

Thunder Bay palladium explorer issues revised mineral estimate

Clean Air Metals presses on with exploration in determining mine viability at Thunder Bay North Project
(Clean Air Metals photo)

Clean Air Metals has finished a mineral recount of its Thunder Bay North Critical Metals Project.

The local company released a revised mineral resource estimate for its palladium and copper property where it wants to build a mine. 

Clean Air embarked on this exercise earlier this year after discovering an error in the resource calculation of its Current deposit. In February, they pulled the resource estimate and preliminary economic assessment first posted in late 2021.

At the project located 40 kilometres north of the city, the local company has two deposits, dubbed Current and Escape. Current is the most advanced of the two and would be the starting point for an underground mine. 

A few months ago, company management anticipated the reduction in the metals content would be in the range fo 20 to 50 per cent. Turns out it’s roughly right in the middle on the platinum group metals count. 

In a May 4 news release, Clean Air said the deposit is 33 per cent lower in the indicated platinum and palladium, and 21 per cent lower in copper. 

Sign up for the Sudbury Mining Solutions weekly newsletter here.

Management said they’re “evaluating the potential options and viability for development” based on this new resource.

With the two deposits combined, the company said Thunder Bay North contains 14 million tonnes containing 1.2 million ounces of platinum group metals, 57.500 tonnes of copper and 34,300 tonnes of nickel.

Current is the most advanced of the two deposits and would be the starting point for a mine. On its own, Current contains an indicated mineral resource of 8.2 million tonnes grading 2.7 grams per tonne (g/t) of platinum group metals,  0.33 per cent copper and 0.22 per cent nickel. 

The Escape Deposit contains an indicated resource of 5.8 million tonnes grading 2.6 g/t of platinum group metals, 0.52 per cent copper, 0.28 per cent nickel.

“Work will continue to determine viability of a potentially bulk mineable, ramp accessible underground constrained mineral resource,” said CEO Abraham Drost in a statement. The company maintains there’s more metal to be found at both deposits with the potential to build a larger resource base.

Rhodium and cobalt are in the mix. The company doesn’t consider them payable metals but view them as potential valuable by-products down the road.

Clean Air also announced that a financier, Triple Flag Precious Metals has forwarded a second payment of $5 million. The streaming and royalty company has a 2.5 per cent net smelter mining royalty of Thunder Bay North.