ONTARIO – North American Palladium (NAP) is expanding operations at its Lac des Iles palladium mine 85 km northwest of Thunder Bay by developing the underground Offset zone. The company says mining of the first Offset zone stope has begun.
NAP’s capital budget this year is C$116 million. So far surface construction is essentially complete. The service hoist, auxiliary hoist and all related power systems at the hoist house have been commissioned, as has the main electrical substation. Sinking of the 1,345-metre shaft continues, and it is expected to begin hoisting Offset ore in Q4 2013.
The initial rate for ore hoisting via the new shaft is 3,500 t/d. The mining rate will be ramped up to 5,500 t/d at which point NAP will be producing 250,000 oz of palladium annually beginning in 2015. In 2012 NAP expects to produce 150,000 to 160,000 oz of palladium. Cash costs are expected to decline to the low US$200/oz range.
The October 2012 corporate presentation is available at NAPalladium.com.