Some positive news from the River Valley Palladium Project (Project).
New Age Metals Inc. (NAM) released a study today (March 1), confirming higher grades in metallurgical drill holes at the Project.
The study is being carried out as a ‘key component’ of the ongoing pre-feasibility study.
NAM says four short diamond holes were drilled inside the River Valley Deposit, one each at the Dana North, Dana South, Lismer North and Lismer Ridge Mineralized Zones.
The zones were selected for study because they are the most assessable and the best understood of the ten known palladium mineralized zones, and therefore most probably used for a starting location for any potential mining operation in River Valley.
Both Dana zones, drilled for about 200m, ended in mineralization.
The Lismer Ridge Zone, drilled for approximately 215m, remained in mineralization for an additional 40m, making the zone, east-adjacent to Lismer Ride, a promising exploration target of interest.
All four holes were drilled over the summer and in total 809 samples from the holes were assayed.
Cody Hunt, Vice President of Business Development for NAM says the River Valley location is primarily a palladium and platinum property, something that’s truly unique in North America.
“A lot of these metals come from South Africa and Russia, so it’s kind of timely,” Hunt says. “43% of the palladium in the world comes from Russia. With the ongoing conflict, there’s certainly some speculation in the market that this can have an impact on the price of palladium.”
Hunt says since the end of last December, the price of the metal has gone up from $1,500 an oz to almost $2,500.
“It’s certainly an exciting property and unique to North America and the world,” he says.
Hunt adds this news is welcomed and will play a part in the company’s pre-feasibility study which has been in the works since April of last year.
Hunt says the study will likely be released in the third quarter of 2022 and will serve as a tool for NAM to show the marketplace the results of their efforts in de-risking the property.
“What you’ll see is really a conceptual mine plan, a financial analysis that will tell us the type of capital that’s required to bring this property into production and what sort of return you could expect on putting your money into building this property,” he says.
He says with the study comes soliciting interest from third parties on working together with NAM to continue the development.
“That’s really our stated objective. We are comfortable in completing exploration and development on the property, completing engineering studies, but we’re a group that’s focused on exploration and development. Construction and production aren’t necessarily part of our business. So we look to form strategic relationships with companies that have those resources, the experience and the expertise in doing that type of work.”
Though Hunt says it’s challenging to give a precise timeline for the future, as there are a lot of risks involved, he was still able to give an idea of what could be expected if everything comes out positive.
“But I think it’s realistic, given a positive result with our pre-feasibility study, to assume it would take less than a decade to bring this [project] through additional engineering studies, additional exploration, and getting into permitting, construction and later production,” he finished.