Friday 28th October 2016

Resource Clips

Posts tagged ‘North American Palladium Ltd (PDL)’

A second flagship

August 11th, 2016

Nickel One Resources plans a Finnish acquisition as well as Ontario drilling

by Greg Klein

A position in Scandinavia would give Nickel One Resources TSXV:NNN a dual approach or, as president/CEO Vance Loeber describes it, “a double-barrelled shotgun.” On August 11 the company announced an LOI to gain a Finore Mining CSE:FIN subsidiary with a 100% interest in Lantinen Koillismaa, a nickel-copper-PGE deposit in an active mining region of Finland. Additionally, encouraged by positive results from last spring’s assays, the company plans to resume drilling on its Tyko project in Ontario.

Nickel One Resources plans Finnish acquisition as well as Ontario drilling

With equally spectacular aurora borealis, arctic Finland
boasts far greater infrastructure than northern Canada.

A 3,750-hectare property just 65 kilometres south of the Arctic Circle, LK actually enjoys a favourable location—and that demonstrates the contrast between the Canadian and Scandinavian north. An all-weather, government-maintained road comes right to the property, a rail line runs 40 kilometres away and Oulu, a Gulf of Bothnia port that’s home to 200,000 people, sits 160 kilometres west. Work is practical right through the winter, as several mines and three smelters in the region attest.

“The local community is very supportive, the Finnish Geological Survey is very supportive and it’s a beautiful place to work,” enthuses Loeber.

Finore took LK to resource level in 2013 for two deposits with open pit potential. The Kaukua deposit shows:

  • indicated: 10.4 million tonnes averaging 0.73 g/t palladium, 0.26 g/t platinum, 0.08 g/t gold, 0.15% copper, 0.1% nickel and 65 g/t cobalt

  • inferred: 13.2 million tonnes averaging 0.63 g/t palladium, 0.22 g/t platinum, 0.06 g/t gold, 0.15% copper, 0.1% nickel and 55 g/t cobalt

Three zones at the Haukiaho deposit total:

  • inferred: 23.2 million tonnes averaging 0.31 g/t palladium, 0.12 g/t platinum, 0.1 g/t gold, 0.21% copper, 0.14% nickel and 61 g/t cobalt

Further study might put a new perspective on the resource. “Although the plan is to look at it from a fresh approach, a higher-grade/lower-tonnage point of view, we’re not going to lose sight of the higher-tonnage aspect either,” explains Loeber. “But in the short term we’ll be looking at some higher-grade tonnage, both through additional exploration and a re-engineered 43-101 report.”

A new perspective maybe, but from experienced eyes. “With this acquisition we also get the combined geological talent of Finore’s founders, Mohan Vulimiri and Peter Tegart,” Loeber points out. “They’re pretty serious guys so it’s not like we’re going in blind.”

Another Finland veteran is Nickel One VP of exploration and former PDAC president Scott Jobin-Bevans. “He did his PhD dissertation on this type of mineralization,” says Loeber.

The deal would cost Nickel One five million shares. The company would also contribute up to $100,000 towards any future private placement undertaken by Finore. Loeber doesn’t offer an anticipated closing date but says his team wants the deal wrapped up “sooner rather than later.”

But looking at Finland doesn’t mean neglecting western Ontario. “Tyko is still very much in our sights. We had some great results in our initial program and we’re planning a late-summer, early-fall follow-up program.”

That would take the crew about 40 kilometres north of Hemlo in an area that’s surprisingly more remote than arctic Finland. Still, Tyco’s accessible by highway, logging roads and float plane.

The 14 holes and 1,780 metres drilled so far this year followed 13 holes and 2,230 metres sunk by North American Palladium TSX:PDL up to 2007. Nine North American holes revealed mineralization.

Near-surface intercepts reported by Nickel One in June returned as much as 1.47% nickel, 0.49% copper and 0.71 ppm PGEs over 6.05 metres. Another assay showed 1.06% nickel, 0.35% copper and 0.65 ppm PGEs over 6.22 metres. Along with the other results, the company sees increasing optimism in its magma conduit theory suggesting a potential link between the property’s RJ and Tyko zones, 1.5 kilometres apart.

The extent of Tyco’s upcoming program remains “finance-dependent,” Loeber says. But given market response to the LOI, he’s confident of raising funds. As for a closing date for LK, “We’re going to make this happen as quickly as we can.”

A head start

April 14th, 2016

Nickel One Resources builds on past work at western Ontario’s Tyko project

“Not too many properties come to you with two discoveries already drilled but never released,” says Nickel One Resources TSXV:NNN president/CEO Vance Loeber. “These results had never seen the light of day in a public company.”

He’s referring to the Tyko project in western Ontario’s Thunder Bay mining district, where Nickel One recently completed a program of confirmation drilling. Initial results have the company optimistic about its nickel-copper-PGM potential, and in particular about the possibility that two zones might be one.

Nickel One Resources builds on past work at western Ontario’s Tyko project

Still to come from Tyko are results from 10 more winter holes.

The project came to Nickel One with the advantage of two seasons of drilling by North American Palladium TSX:PDL back in 2006 and 2007. Focusing on its Lac des Iles operation and advanced projects in Ontario and Finland, the company let Tyko revert to its vendors, friends of Abraham Drost, now Nickel One’s chairperson.

Loeber and Drost had worked together in prominent roles on a number of projects including Sandspring Resources TSXV:SSP and Carlisle Goldfields, the latter taken over by Alamos Gold TSX:AGI earlier this year. Consequently Nickel One’s predecessor, Redline Resources, acquired the privately held Tyko Resources and its namesake project, then began trading as Nickel One at the end of February.

North American drilled 2,230 metres in 13 holes, finding mineralization in nine of them. Redline’s February 2015 43-101 technical report provides highlights from those two programs, including:

Hole TK-06-001 at the Tyko showing

  • 1.09% nickel, 0.76% copper, 0.42 ppm platinum and 0.42 ppm palladium over 4.15 metres, starting at 17.4 metres in downhole depth

TK-06-003 at the RJ showing

  • 1.06% nickel , 0.51% copper, 0.24 ppm platinum and 0.12 ppm palladium over 4.08 metres, starting at 63.92 metres

TK-06-005 at the RJ showing

  • 1.05% nickel, 0.46% copper, 0.2 ppm platinum and 0.12 ppm palladium over 6.2 metres, starting at 25 metres

True widths weren’t available.

Having raised $890,000 about a week after its February trading debut, Nickel One dispatched a rig to confirm the results. Assays for the first four holes came out April 12, with one near-surface interval from the RJ zone nearly matching the previous best grade while exceeding its width nearly four-fold—1.04% nickel over 16.19 metres.

That result appeared within a longer interval of 0.79% nickel over 44.12 metres:

  • 0.79% nickel, 0.3% copper, 0.01 ppm gold, 0.12 ppm platinum and 0.11 ppm palladium over 44.12 metres, starting at 52.75 metres in downhole depth

  • (including 1.04% nickel, 0.54% copper, 0.01 ppm gold, 0.12 ppm platinum and 0.12 ppm palladium over 8.25 metres

  • (which includes) 2.89% nickel, 0.45% copper, 0.01 ppm gold, 0.27 ppm platinum and 0.35 ppm palladium over 0.5 metres

  • (and including) 1.04% nickel, 0.23% copper, 0.15 ppm platinum and 0.12 ppm palladium over 16.19 metres

  • (which includes) 1.23% nickel, 0.26% copper,0.18 ppm platinum and 0.13 ppm palladium over 11.38 metres

  • (which includes) 1.97% nickel, 0.19% copper,0.17 ppm platinum and 0.12 ppm palladium over 1 metre

Again, true widths weren’t available. Results are pending for 10 more holes from the 14-hole, 1,780-metre program.

Summer drilling will test a theory that the RJ and Tyko zones, 1.5 kilometres apart, might be linked. The earlier drilling, magnetics, electromagnetics and IP surveys led to the 43-101’s conclusion that the property has been intruded by a mafic to ultramafic conduit that’s interpreted to be a feeder system. A “major structural flexure” between the RJ and Tyko zones coincides with anomalous nickel, copper and PGEs.

“The property shows many similarities with mafic to ultramafic feeder systems such as Voisey’s Bay in northern Labrador and Jinchaun in China,” the report states. “These deposits are characterised by magmatic sulphides collecting within the feeder of a large intrusive body due to variations in geometry that caused changes in flow dynamics such that immiscible sulphides were able to settle out and collect in structural traps.”

A concentration of immiscible sulphides is key to the formation of an economic nickel deposit, the report adds.

Having taken over the Nickel One helm just weeks ago, Loeber’s enthusiastic about renewing his collaboration with Drost and working with their new teammates. Among them is adviser Glenn Mullan, whose 35-year exploration/mining career includes his current role as president/CEO of Golden Valley Mines TSXV:GZZ. Director Scott Jobin-Bevans, with more than 22 years of exploration experience, wrote his PhD thesis on PGE mineralization in Ontario.

Accessible by logging roads and float plane, the 11,168-hectare property sits about 40 kilometres north of Hemlo and 28 kilometres southeast of the town of Manitouwadge, at the north end of Highway 614.

Anxious to get back, the company plans to resume drilling after spring breakup, Loeber says. Meanwhile the rig remains onsite, making it cheaper and quicker to renew the attack.

Precious, practical and fickle

November 13th, 2013

Platinum’s supply shortage won’t boost its near-term price, a report cautions

by Greg Klein

Forecasts that platinum prices would break free of gold have so far proved premature. True, the metal now attracts strong ETF interest in addition to industrial uses, not to mention jewelry and bullion. Demand is set to hit record levels this year, pushing supply further into deficit. But a comprehensive study of the metal’s 2013 performance finds it “increasingly unresponsive to supply-side concerns.”

Indeed, “after rising above $1,700 in February, platinum was dragged below $1,400 following a sharp fall in the gold price.” That comes from the Platinum 2013 Interim Review released November 12 by Johnson Matthey, self-described as “the world’s leading authority on platinum group metals.” The 40-page report compiled by an 11-person research team tracks the year’s PGM performance in supply, demand and price by jurisdiction and use. While the study finds considerable push and pull from other forces, the vagaries that trouble gold seem to afflict platinum too.

Yet this year’s supply deficit is forecast at 605,000 ounces, compared to 340,000 ounces in 2012, thanks to ETFs and industry. The latter includes automotive catalytic converters as well as chemical, electrical, glass, petroleum and medical/biomedical uses.

Platinum’s supply shortage won’t boost its near-term price, a report cautions

The researchers say an 11.5% increase in industrial demand will come largely from chemical uses while catalyst demand will drop. As for ETFs, “unprecedented offtake” in South Africa, along with ETFs from other regions as well as bars and coins, “will lift investment demand to a record 765,000 ounces.”

Most of that came from “pent-up demand” in SA where the new Absa Capital ETF rose to 660,000 ounces between its April launch and the end of September, Johnson Matthey points out. The rand-denominated, Johannesburg-traded product attracted institutions that face limits on foreign investments, but also anyone who could afford the 1/100th-ounce minimum purchase.

Along with supply concerns, that ETF partly offset the precious metals plunge that started in April. But by the end of September, the report indicates, platinum’s performance often mimicked gold’s rise and fall in response to speculations about the Fed, quantitative easing and the U.S. debt ceiling. The study tracks platinum’s progress to a September 27 low of $1,411. Still, that’s an improvement over $1,323 in June following the spring precious metals crash that coincided with a weakening auto sector in Europe. Platinum began November 13 at $1,436.

The anticipated breakout from gold hasn’t happened. Even so the year’s platinum mine supply forecast comes to 5.74 million ounces (up 1.6% from 2012), plus 2.07 million ounces from recycling, versus 8.42 million ounces of demand (up 4.9%). Commodity price explanations don’t come easily, especially with precious metals. And platinum is considered both precious and industrial, potentially pulled in different directions by opposite forces. Johnson Matthey attributes about 9% of 2013 demand to investment and 32% to jewelry.

Looking ahead, the report sees a third consecutive deficit next year but “this may not be sufficient to support higher platinum prices.” The predicament of South Africa, the world’s leading producer but with dwindling reserves and uncertain labour conditions, might have been expected to push platinum prices further. “But investor fatigue appears to have set in and sporadic strikes in 2013 have had increasingly little influence on the price.”

[A not-yet launched Johannesburg-traded ETF comprises] the biggest uncertainty facing the palladium market next year.—Johnson Matthey’s
Platinum 2013 Interim Review

The report sees palladium ($741 an ounce on November 13) showing a smaller but still significant 2013 deficit of 740,000 ounces. The metal’s mined for catalysts, largely for gas engines, as opposed to diesel motor catalysts that use platinum. Other key consumers are the chemical, dental and electrical industries.

The mine supply forecast shows 6.43 million ounces, down about 1.5% from last year. Recycling brings in another 2.46 million. Demand comes to 9.63 million, down 3.4%. About 7.8% of demand comes from investment and 4% from jewelry.

Both industrial and investor demand have dropped despite “significant inflows into palladium ETFs in the first two months.” But the authors note that Absa Capital has received SA regulatory approval for a Johannesburg-traded palladium ETF, a “wild card” that’s “the biggest uncertainty facing the palladium market next year.” The ETF’s launch date hasn’t been announced.

Rhodium, also used for catalysts and in the chemical, electrical and glass industries, began November 13 at $980. That’s barely above July’s nine-year low of $975, despite demand reaching a six-year high. The report attributes the contradiction to a “large hangover of surplus metal that accumulated between 2008 and 2011.” Today’s small deficits are “entirely due to the movement of market stocks into physically-backed investment products” from a Deutsche Bank rhodium ETF as well as rhodium bars sold in North America and Europe.

Prices for ruthenium and iridium, both used for electrical, chemical and (of course) electro-chemical uses, dropped sharply this year. The report attributes “a long-term imbalance between primary production and consumer offtake.”

Examining supply by jurisdiction, South Africa shows little change in platinum production, a result of depleting deposits and labour unrest. Only Zimbabwe, a country fraught with jurisdictional risk, is likely to increase its platinum output in 2014.

Russia’s platinum production will see a slight decline. Palladium too, because of reduced sales from government stockpiles, “now an insignificant part of the overall palladium supply picture.”

Nor will Canadian production see much change. Lower output from North American Palladium’s TSX:PDL Lac des Iles mine in northwestern Ontario will be offset by increased palladium byproduct from nickel operations at Glencore Xstrata’s Raglan mine in northern Quebec and Vale’s Sudbury operations, the report states.