Palladium One Mining (TSXV: PDM) (FRA: 7N11) (OTC: NKORF)
continues to advance its Läntinen Koillismaa (LK) platinum group element-copper-nickel property in Finland — this week announcing that initial down plunge drilling has extended mineralization 250 meters southwest of the open-pit constrained resource estimate at the Kaukua deposit.
Hole LK21-101 intersected 1.5 g/t palladium equivalent (PdEq) over 74.5 meters starting at 273 meters down hole, and returned a higher-grade 2.2 g/t PdEq over 19.6 meters.
Other high-grade intercepts included:
“The high-grade ‘Core Zone’ of the Kaukua deposit has been extended to the southwest and remains open for expansion. These are among the thickest intercepts to date within the Kaukua deposit and will add significant tonnage to our existing resource endowment,” said Palladium One’s CEO, Derrick Weyrauch, in the Nov. 23 news release.
The news from Kaukua alters the geological model, in a good way. As Palladium One explains,
Previous geological interpretations suggested that the Kaukua deposit was cut-off by a northwest trending fault, occupying a distinct magnetic low and topographic lineament. Drilling has demonstrated that the magnetic low is the result of a later cross cutting dyke (now referred to as the high-titanium gabbro dyke) and that the Kaukua deposit remains open to the south.
Resource definition drilling at Kaukua and the western half of Kaukua South (together known as the Kaukua area) is complete, with an updated NI 43-101 resource estimate scheduled for the first quarter, 2022.
While the Haukiahio trend is more copper-nickel rich, the Kaukua deposit contains mostly platinum group elements, with two-thirds of the value in palladium and platinum.
The Kaukua mineralized system is also much larger than previously understood, as evidenced by last year’s major discovery about 500m away at Kaukua South, which hosts a >4 km-long IP chargeability anomaly, of which 3.5 km had never been tested prior to Palladium One’s drilling work.
Initial drilling last year, therefore, focused on expanding known mineralization to the east of existing drill intercepts in the Kaukua South Zone, taking priority over the planned drilling to upgrade and convert the historical resource estimate at Haukiaho.
(As announced in a Sep. 7 news release, results from a 2,000m drill program at the Haukiaho Zone significantly increased this area’s resources (NI 43-101-compliant) to 32.7 million tonnes grading 1.15 g/t PdEq for 1.21 million ounces of contained PdEq. This resource update essentially doubles the resource endowment of the entire LK project, which now boasts 11 million tonnes of indicated resources grading 1.60 g/t PdEq (600,000 oz PdEq) and 44 million tonnes of inferred resources grading 1.19 g/t PdEq (1.7 million oz PdEq))
Kaukua South drilling successfully confirmed the eastern extension and the over-4 km strike length, insinuating the presence of a large-scale, shallow mineralized system with significant continuity.
Phase 2 drilling by Palladium One this year continued to return significant PGE grades and widths, including 47m at 2.3 g/t PdEq and 53m @ 2.1 g/t PdEq, and was successful in extending the strike length of the Upper Zone mineralization.
These results added to the company’s belief that it could add a significant amount of open-pit resources to the upcoming NI 43-101 resource estimate upgrade.
Last month the company announced the highest-grade hole to date at LK, which intersected 4.07 g/t PdEq over 24m within 2.08 g/t Pd_Eq over 112m, starting at 171.5m depth.
The question is not if, but by how much, the Kaukua drilling will add to the already doubled mineral resources at the LK property.
The Kaukua Zone at LK is mostly a palladium-platinum-gold play, however it may surprise readers to learn there are significant base metal values particularly at Haukiaho, where two-thirds of the zone’s value is in nickel and copper compared to Kaukua where 66% of the value is in palladium and platinum.
Indeed Haukiaho hosts some of the highest nickel grades on the LK project. At 17 km in length, the Haukiaho trend currently represents the largest continuous patch of blue-sky potential.
The latest resource estimate of 1.2 million ounces PdEq grading 1.15% g/t, comprises only 3 km of strike length; 2 km of strike extent, immediately east of the Haukiaho resource estimate, contains two significant IP chargeability anomalies with sufficient historic drilling to potentially be upgraded to inferred resources with modest additional drilling.
The remaining 12 km of the Haukiaho trend has not been drill-tested by the company, though widely spaced historic drilling has demonstrated that the trend is mineralized. This drilling provides a high level of confidence for potential additional nickel-copper resources to be delineated, Palladium One said.
Also worth noting is the fact that the Haukiaho Zone’s resource estimate contains cobalt. There is a reasonable expectation that the next resource estimate update at the Kaukua Zone where PDM is concentrating its drill program, will also contain notable values of the crucial lithium-ion battery component.
As for Palladium One’s Tyko nickel-copper project in Ontario, in a Nov. 16 project update the company says geophysical crews are on site conducting ground-based electromagnetic surveys on key areas; three new exploration permit applications have been filed for drill-testing the newly identified EM anomalies; and a fourth exploration permit application has been made to expand upon the existing Smoke Lake exploration permit, to allow for additional step-out drill pad locations.
“We eagerly await receipt of new exploration permits for Tyko so that we can get back to drilling and make additional discoveries.” said Derrick Weyrauch, President and CEO.
The project known for its high sufide nickel tenor, received the Bernie Schnieders 2020 Discovery of the Year Award, presented by the Northwestern Ontario Prospectors Association (NWOPA).
It covers approximately 24,500 hectares within the highly prospective Mid-Continent Rift nickel province, including over 7,000 hectares of the mafic-ultramafic Bulldozer intrusion, which has seen virtually no geological mapping nor exploration.
The Archean-aged mafic-ultramafic intrusion is rich in nickel, containing twice as much the battery metal as copper, and equal amounts of platinum and palladium.
According to the company, the high tenor of the sulfide minerals suggests a valuable concentrate could be produced, and that even if the sulfides are disseminated, the deposit could still be economic.
Drilling in 2020 primarily focused on the Smoke Lake target, an EM anomaly identified through geophysical surveying. Magnetic survey undertaken shortly before drilling helped to refine the anomaly, resulting in the successful discovery of massive magmatic sulfides.
The first discovery of massive sulfide mineralization at Tyko was confirmed in January, when the company announced drill intercepts from massive magmatic sulfide of up to 9.9% nickel equivalent. Subsequent drill results reported from the 2020 program were a resounding success, confirming the high-grade nature of the deposit.
A second-phase, 2,000m drill program was initiated in April to follow up on these high-grade hits. The assays to date have been excellent, including massive magmatic sulfide intercepts grading up to 10.2% nickel equivalent, demonstrating a robust mineralization spread over a distance of at least 18 km.
In addition to the high-grade Smoke Lake Zone, Palladium One believes there are new zones of nickel-copper mineralization yet to be discovered.
Preliminary results of the recently completed airborne EM survey have identified as many as four significant multi-line EM anomalies on the Tyko nickel-copper project, which further support this hypothesis.
Of particular interest are two anomalies in the Bulldozer Intrusion. These are the first EM anomalies identified in this large mafic-ultramafic intrusion and hint at potentially large tonnage targets.
Assay results from the Phase 2 drill program at Smoke Lake are pending.
Palladium One Mining
TSXV: PDM, FRA: 7N11, OTC: NKORF
Shares Outstanding 248m
Market cap Cdn$43.4m
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