Gold and precious metals preview: Eight companies are advancing projects around the world
The Toronto-based junior is focused on advancing its flagship Thunder Bay North project in Ontario, approximately 50 km northeast of the city of Thunder Bay and 60 km southeast of the Lac des Iles mine, owned by Impala Canada Ltd. (part of the Implats group).
In April, Clean Air Metals announced the latest assay results from its 2022 drilling campaign at the Escape-copper-nickel platinum group element deposit in Thunder Bay North.
Drilling highlights included hole ELR22-129, which intersected 90 meters grading 1.04 grams of platinum per tonne, 1.33 grams of palladium per tonne, 0.49% copper and 0.28% nickel at from 308 meters deep, including 5 meters grading 2.38 grams of platinum, 2.99 grams of palladium, 1.12% copper and 0.62% nickel.
According to the company, this hole intercepted a structural corridor called the Sail Zone, which crosses the eastern edge of the Escape South High Grade Zone and trends northwest along the trend of the Escape mineralized deposit.
A preliminary economic assessment of the project in December called for a 10-year life underground mine producing 629,000 oz. platinum, 618,000 oz. palladium, 111 million pounds of copper, 57 million pounds of nickel, 38,000 oz. gold and 850,000 oz. silver (2.9 million platinum equivalent ounces) from the Escape and Current deposits. About 65.2% of total production would occur in the first five years.
Production figures were based on an average rate of 4,450 tonnes per day (3,600 tonnes per day of ore and 850 tonnes per day of waste). It also includes a new stand-alone grinding complex and tailings management facility. The mill would be powered by both Current and Escape.
The preliminary study estimated an after-tax net present value of $378.4 million, using a discount rate of 5% and metal prices of $969 per ounce. platinum, $2,214 an ounce. palladium, $1,723 an ounce. gold, $22 an ounce. silver, $3.09 per pound copper and $6.86 per pound nickel, and an after-tax internal rate of return of 29.8%.
Return on investment from the start of commercial operation would take 2.4 years with initial capital expenditures estimated at $287.4 million, including $47.1 million in contingencies.