Palladium One Mining (TSXV: PDM; US-OTC: NKORF) has extended the Kaukua South zone at its flagship Lantinen Koillismaa (LK) platinum-nickel-copper project in Finland, 190 km northeast of the port city of Oulu.
Visual interpretation of 11 discovery holes from its Phase I drill program has extended the strike length of Kaukua South from 600 metres to 4 km and is interpreted as the fault-displaced extension of the Kaukua deposit.
“This major discovery means that we potentially have an extensive mineralized system here that could give us a significant boost to the existing resources at the Kaukua open pit deposit, which has a one-kilometre strike length and adjoins Kaukua South,” Derrick Weyrauch, the company’s president and chief executive, said in an interview.
“Given that the new discovery has four times the strike length, we may have a resource that is multiples of the Kaukua open pit deposit,” added Weyrauch. “Investors may have looked at us previously and said, ‘it’s great that you may have the highest investable palladium grade in a tier-one jurisdiction,’ but now they can look at us and see that we have the potential for a large critical mass too.”
The pit-constrained resource stands at 10.99 million indicated tonnes grading 0.81 gram palladium per tonne, 0.27 gram platinum per tonne, 0.09 gram gold per tonne (1.17 grams platinum group elements [PGE] per tonne), 0.15% copper, and 0.09% nickel for 635,600 palladium-equivalent ounces.
Inferred resources add 10.88 million tonnes grading 0.64 gram palladium, 0.20 gram platinum, 0.08 gram gold (0.92 gram PGE), 0.13% copper, and 0.08% nickel for 525,800 palladium-equivalent oz. for a pit-constrained cutoff grade of 0.3 gram palladium equivalent per tonne.
The resumed exploration drilling program comprised 14 holes totalling 2,566 metres, bringing the total Phase I exploration drill program to 26 holes (4,490 metres).
The holes were drilled on a previously identified Induced Polarisation (IP) chargeability anomaly in the Kaukua South zone. All holes intercepted magmatic sulphide mineralization.
“The aim of the Phase I drilling program was to define multiple drilling targets, and we knew that IP chargeability anomalies have proven to correlate very well with PGE-nickel-copper mineralization,” said Weyrauch. “So, we undertook an extensive IP survey that covered 12 km of a 38 km basal contact and generated fantastic anomalies.”
The drill program extended the known magmatic sulphide mineralization in Kaukua South more than 3 km east of a previous drill hole, LK20-006.
Drill hole LK20-006 intersected 63 metres grading 0.72 gram palladium, 0.26 gram platinum, and 0.08 gram gold (1.06 gram PGE), 0.14% nickel, and 0.013% copper starting from 95 metres downhole.
Historic drilling 600 metres west of LK20-006 returned 33 metres grading 1.9 grams palladium-equivalent from drill hole KAU-08-035, which, said Weyrauch, demonstrates a mineralized strike length of about 4 kilometres.
“When we first carried out the geophysics this past winter, no one had looked beyond the Kaukua deposit, and almost all of the existing drilling had been within the open pit shell,” said Neil Pettigrew, vice president of exploration and a director with the company, in the same interview. “It was one of those stories where no one had thought to look outside the area. So we extended the survey grid to the south even though there were no outcrops or any other indications that suggested that there was anything there. Low and behold, we discovered this beautiful chargeability anomaly.”
The LK20-006 hole, he noted, was drilled in March before the restrictions imposed due the Covid-19 pandemic stopped further exploration at Kaukua South. However, the drill hole results were very encouraging, so the company continued with further step-out drilling when the program resumed in August.
“We continued to step-out and hit mineralization, and the next thing we know, we’d drilled off three kilometres,” said Pettigrew. “I think that it’s very rare where you have a 100% success rate on a step-out discovery drilling program.”
Pettigrew, a company director, said that the step-out drill program consisted of five sections with at least two holes per section and indicated that the mineralization at Kaukua South shallows and comes to surface along the three-kilometre extension.
The company is now planning a Phase II resource definition drill program, comprising a 100-metre spaced grid along the four kiolometre mineralised extension of Kaukua South.
At press time in Toronto, Palladium One was trading at 17¢ per share within a 52-week trading range of 4.5¢ and 24¢.
The company has 126 million common shares outstanding for a $21.4-million market capitalization.