North American Palladium reports that the 2012 exploration program at its Lac des Iles palladium mine in northern Ontario continues to generate positive results. The primary focus of the program is underground exploration targeting the Offset Zone, which is being developed as an underground ore source to support an expansion of Lac des Iles production. Also, drilling at the Sheriff Zone, approximately 200 m southeast of the current Lac des Iles open-pit, has improved the prospect for additional near-surface resources at the property.
Infill drilling on the Offset Zone aims to define the upper and middle portions of the orebody on a 15-m drill pattern in preparation for production. A total of 7,924 m in 41 diamond drill holes had been drilled in 2012 through mid-July. Narrower, very-high grade intersections included 9 m of 21.98 g/mt palladium in one hole and 5 m of 21.35 g/mt palladium in another. Much wider intersections of very good grade included 42 m of 6.83 g/mt palladium and 46 m of 5.97 g/mt palladium.
At the Sherriff Zone, North American Palladium completed a total of 6,531 m of drilling in two separate programs in the first half of 2012. Five holes drilled in the first quarter returned both long intervals of lower-grade palladium mineralization close to surface and higher-grade intervals at depth. A follow-up program in April and May completed an additional 22 holes on 30-m centers. Additional drilling designed to confirm the geometry and resource potential of the Sheriff Zone is planned for the third and fourth quarters of this year.
North American Palladium also increased its land position in the Lac des Iles region during the first half of 2012 through acquisition and option agreements on several high-potential platinum-group-element properties located less than 30 km from the Lac des Iles mill. The company believes these properties relate to the same magmatic event that produced the Lac des Iles complex. An aggressive surface exploration program involving trenching, mapping, prospecting, and geochemical surveys was initiated at the beginning of July. (www.napalladium.com)