Toronto-based North American Palladium (TSE: PDL) is ramping up its exploration efforts at the Lac des Iles palladium mine 90 km north of Thunder Bay, Ontario. A minimum budget of $16 million is set, $10 million of which was raised by a flow-through share offering made in December.
North American Palladium has identified several underground targets that may extend the life of the mine. Work will focus on the bottom of the shaft and south of the known offset zone resources. The zone is known to split into two discrete mineralized zones and host three pipe shaped bodies with relatively high grades.
Last year NAP delineated a new zone of mineralization located 100 to 200 metres to the east of the Offset zone, naming it C (for contact) zone. It is approximately parallel to the Offset zone and has an average thickness of 10 to 30 metres and an average length of 300 metres to a vertical extend of at least 800 metres. Drilling there has returned assays as high as 5.81 g/t palladium over 5 metres and 3.50 g/t over 21 metres. North American Palladium has identified several underground targets that may extend the life of the mine.
Drilling will also test two other targets in the Offset block. They have the potential to expand down plunge several hundred metres below the currently defined limits. The Mystery zone, on the eastern side of the barren hanging wall, had previous assays 6.33 g/t palladium over 15 metres and 7.01 g/t over 8 metres. The Sheriff South zone directly south of the Sheriff pit assayed 5.37 g/t palladium over 17 metres.
The prospective geology of the Camp Lake target will also be drilled this year.
Surface drilling will test targets identified by last year’s geophysical targets at the Baker zone that returned 1.37 g/t palladium over 164 metres, including 2.13 g/t over 11.4 metres. The Baker zone lies about halfway between the Roby pit and the Creek zone.
(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal.)
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