THUNDER BAY – MINING – North American Palladium Ltd. is updating its mineral reserve and resource estimates for its Lac des Iles mine property (the “Property”) in northwestern Ontario.
- Total reserves of 20.4 million tonnes at a grade of 2.1 grams per tonne (“g/t”) and total resources of 71.5 million tonnes at a grade of 2.0 g/t, representing a combined 5.9 million ounces of contained palladium.
- Significant increase in underground measured and indicated resource of 3.9 million tonnes at a grade of 2.67 g/t palladium (413,000 ounces of contained palladium). An increase of 16%.
- Increase in near surface reserve of 6.3 million tonnes at a grade of 1.0 g/t palladium (197,000 ounces of contained palladium). An increase of 101%.
- Increase in near surface resource of 9.8 million tonnes at a grade of 1.28 g/t palladium (274,000 ounces of contained palladium). An increase of 23%.
“The positive change in our global mineral reserve and resource estimate for Lac des Iles reflects both our recent exploration successes and the current, favourable longer-term outlook on palladium prices, which enhances our ability to pursue expansion opportunities at our mining operations,” said Phil du Toit, President and Chief Executive Officer.
Update to Mineral Reserves and Mineral Resources for the Lac des Iles Mine Property
The Company has completed an update to its LDI mineral reserves and resources. The effective dates for the new reserve estimate and resource estimate, shown in Table 1, are January 1, 2015 and February 2, 2015, respectively. The new estimates exclude material mined up until December 31, 2014. The resource estimates provided in Table 1 were prepared by NAP Qualified Persons in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 (“NI 43-101”). The reserve estimates provided in Table 1 are derived from the Company’s NI 43-101 technical report entitled “Technical Report for Lac des Iles Mine, Ontario Incorporating Prefeasibility Study for Life of Mine Plan” dated March 21, 2014 (the “2014 Technical Report”), and have been updated to include depletion and conversion of RGO stockpile resources to reserves.
The updated mineral resource estimate presented in Table 1 represents a significant change to the previously published (see 2014 Technical Report) mineral resource estimate for the Property. The known mineralized zones on the Property are shown in Figure 1. The main differences between the current resource estimate (Table 1) and the previously published resource estimate are highlighted in Table 2. In summary, the major differences between these two mineral resource estimates include:
- Increase to Offset Zone resources, including expanded Lower Offset Zone indicated resources;
- Increase to Roby Zone pit expansion resource based on a revised pit expansion concept that incorporates current palladium prices and foreign exchange rates, as well as improved long-term consensus palladium price forecasts that support lowering the Pd cut-off grade to 0.6 g/t;
- Initial resource estimates for both the recently delineated Powerline and Upper Offset southeast extension zones; and
- Revision to the Sheriff Zone resource estimate based on the application of a lower Pd cut-off grade of 1.0 g/t, and the removal of the portion of the Powerline Zone resource that overlaps with the Sheriff Zone resource.
The net change to the LDI resource inventory in terms of contained palladium is an increase of 686,000 ounces, bringing the total measured and indicated resource at Lac des Iles to 71.5 million tonnes having an average grade of 1.98 g/t Pd and containing 4.54 million ounces of palladium. The components of this revised resource estimate are:
- Near surface measured and indicated resources of 35.6 million tonnes having a Pd grade of 1.28 g/t (1.46 million ounces of contained Pd);
- Underground Offset hangingwall zone measured and indicated resources of 7.6 million tonnes having a Pd grade of 4.36 g/t (1.07 million ounces of contained Pd); and
- Underground Offset and Roby footwall zones measured and indicated resources of 28.3 million tonnes having a Pd grade of 2.21 g/t (2.01 million ounces of contained Pd).
The updated mineral reserve estimate presented in Table 1 is divided into the following categories: near surface (low grade stockpile and Roby Zone open pit) and underground (Offset hangingwall and Roby hangingwall). The only differences between the current reserve estimate and the previously published reserve estimate (see 2014 Technical Report) are:
- Depletion from mining activities in 2014 of Offset Zone reserves, RGO stockpile reserves and Roby hangingwall zone underground reserves; and
- Conversion of all RGO stockpile resources to reserves based on successful processing of this material in 2014.
Underground proven and probable reserves are restricted to the Roby and Offset hangingwall zones and total 8.2 million tonnes having an average diluted Pd grade of 3.82 g/t (1.0 million ounces of contained Pd) after adjusting for depletion from mining activities in 2014.
Near surface proven and probable reserves total 12.2 million tonnes with an average grade of 1.0 g/t Pd (390,000 ounces of contained Pd) after allowing for mining depletion in 2014 and the conversion of the RGO stockpile resources to reserves.