Environmental baseline work has started on a potential platinum group metals mine project, northeast of Sudbury.
Story Environmental of Haileybury has been contracted to assess all the hydrological data, study the aquatic communities and do an archaelogical assessment of New Age Metals' River Valley Palladium Project.
This environmental work is being done by New Age in tandem with its ongoing exploration work, including drilling on its 15,800-acre property, 100 kilometres from the city, featuring a 16-kilometre-long palladium deposit.
This data is being collected to support the company's future permitting efforts to advance the project toward a development-ready stage.
Last summer, the company posted a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) proposing an open-pit mine development that would produce 119,000 ounces of palladium a year over a 14-year mine life.
The main use of palladium is in the auto industry for catalytic convertors. Palladium prices this month are hovering around the US$2,000 range.
The exploration firm in the second of three phases of a 5,000-metre exploration drilling campaign this year to test out a magnetic target discovered in 2017.
The next phase of drillling would take place in the fourth quarter of this year.
The company categorizes itself as a project generator, meaning they're looking for a wealthy development partner to option out the property in order to bring it into production.
“We are happy to be working with Story Environmental on this critical work program at River Valley," New Age chairman-CEO Harry Barr said in a July 16 statement.
"As a development asset, we are looking forward to continuing to de-risk River Valley by adding to our existing environmental studies and completing our 2019 preliminary economic assessment recommendations in advance of a prefeasibility study.”
Besides River Valley, New Age holds another PGM property in Alaska and is exploring in Manitoba along the Winnipeg River for lithium, tantalum and rubidium.