Prophecy adds PGEs to its Yukon Nickel-Copper-Gold Project
By Greg Klein
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Long after the Gold Rush that such inspired characters as Sam McGee, Blasphemous Bill and Dangerous Dan McGrew, Yukon is again coming to international prominence as a new gold play matures. In the territory’s southwest, Prophecy Platinum Corp TSXV:NKL is developing one of the world’s largest undeveloped resources of nickel-copper-platinum group elements towards PEA and prefeasibility.
Unlike Russia and South Africa, producers of 85% of world PGE supply, Robert Service’s old stomping ground has settled into a stable, mining-friendly jurisdiction. That bodes well for Prophecy‘s Wellgreen Project and its newly found potential to host a rare PGE resource in addition to nickel, copper and gold.
The company has just released 90 additional assays from a 2011 hole which show an average 28% increase in the full spectrum of six PGEs. Results from the hole released September 26, 2011, reported nickel-copper-gold assays in addition to platinum-palladium, but didn’t include results for the other four PGEs. The September assays showed
0.29% nickel, 0.18% copper, 0.34 g/t platinum, 0.33 g/t palladium and 0.05 g/t gold over 457.4 metres
(including 0.36% nickel, 0.3% copper, 0.63 g/t platinum, 0.54 g/t palladium and 0.08 g/t gold over 120.9 metres)
(and including 1.03% nickel, 0.75% copper, 1.33 g/t platinum, 1.64 g/t palladium and 0.17 g/t gold over 17.8 metres)
The hole started 7.1 metres from surface, extending to 263.8 metres. Ninety sample assays from the same hole released May 25 included the missing PGE quartet. Highlights include
0.023 g/t osmium, 0.019 g/t iridium, 0.054 g/t ruthenium and 0.024 g/t rhodium
0.022 g/t osmium, 0.013 g/t iridium, 0.038 g/t ruthenium and 0.018 g/t rhodium
0.023 g/t osmium, 0.021 g/t iridium, 0.055 g/t ruthenium and 0.025 g/t rhodium
0.05 g/t osmium, 0.03 g/t iridium, 0.078 g/t ruthenium and 0.035 g/t rhodium
0.018 g/t osmium, 0.016 g/t iridium, 0.042 g/t ruthenium and 0.02 g/t rhodium
Rhodium, platinum and palladium are the most important of the six PGEs, with some 80% to 85% going into auto-catalyst manufacture. Prophecy cites a 1997 Geological Survey of Canada bulletin stating that only Russia’s Norilsk ores have nickel-copper cores with comparable values of rhodium. As Prophecy Head Geologist Danniel Oosterman says, “A lot of nickel-copper-PGE deposits around the world don’t have appreciable values of PGEs beyond platinum and palladium.”
Assays are pending for an additional 260 samples from the same hole. Meanwhile, drilling continues. About 30% of a 9,000-metre underground program has been completed so far, with results to come. Surface drilling will resume within the next two weeks, with 7,000 metres planned. The plan is to upgrade the July 2011 resource.
As it stands now, the indicated category shows 220 million pounds nickel, 200 million pounds copper, 15.8 million pounds cobalt, 460,000 ounces platinum, 340,000 ounces palladium and 240,000 ounces gold. The inferred category shows 2.4 billion pounds nickel, 2.2 billion pounds copper, 191.3 million pounds cobalt, 4.9 million ounces platinum, 3.9 million ounces palladium and 2.1 million ounces gold. The estimate uses a 0.4% nickel-equivalent cutoff.
Prophecy‘s timeline calls for a preliminary economic assessment for possible release as early as June and a resource update in 1Q 2013, to be followed by prefeasibility.
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