NORTH AMERICAN PALLADIUM
North American Palladium’s Lac des Iles Mine (LDI) had its most profitable quarter in over 25 years of mining. Fueled by record palladium prices averaging $1400/ounce, the company sold close to 57,000 ounces of palladium in Q1.
Workforce at Lac des Iles is at 700 plus employees, including contractors. Interestingly, the mine is transitioning through an aggressive construction period to become a fully underground mine by 2021, mining ore at 12,000 tonnes per day (Currently underground ore (6,800t/day) and stockpiled ore are blended).
Timing is excellent for North American Palladium’s production to meet global demand. 85% of palladium production goes to the automotive section, specifically to catalytic convertors for clean air. (15% goes to: mobile phones, laptops, jewellery and dental crowns!)
Palladium demand is growing because of:
• Growth of hybrid vehicle market
• Lower diesel vehicle sales; replaced with gasoline engines in Europe
• Growth of SUV market share; larger engines
• Sustained global auto sales
• Heightened emissions standard worldwide
As well as mine development for expansion, vertical development for exploration drilling is also underway at LDI. In fact, $16M is earmarked for exploration at the mine and 65KM to the south at Sunday Lake, a significant emerging palladium-platinum mineralized zone. Drill targets at Sunday Lake are deep; recently ore exploration drill intercept returned 41 metres of 5gram/tonne palladium-platinum combined.
Camp expansion for the large workforce is almost complete. A new mine dry building and water treatment facility are also in the works.
North American Palladium is positioning itself to be a low-cost, long term sustainable palladium producer. By 2021, Lac des Iles Mine will be one of the largest underground mines in Canada.
As the closest mine to Thunder Bay, Lac des Iles will continue to be a significant contributor to Thunder Bay’s economy, through direct employment and engaging Thunder Bay service and supply businesses.
In addition, this Northwestern Ontario orebody is contributing to clean air in North America by virtue of palladium’s installation in vehicles.
DID YOU KNOW
: Skilled trades, heavy equipment operators, geologists, metallurgist and
are some of the professions involved in the mining industry? For more information on engineering and the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers, the key advocacy and profession development voice, go to