ONTARIO – Along with guidance figures for 2014, Toronto-based North American Palladium (NAP) has published capital expenditure and exploration forecasts for its Lac des Iles palladium mine 85 km northwest of Thunder Bay.
The target for total metal production this year is between 170,000 and 175,000 oz of palladium. To reach that goal underground production is expected to be 3,000 t/d in the first half, rising to 5,000 t/d in H2 2014, thanks to commissioning of the new shaft, thanks to commissioning of the new shaft at the mine.
NAP has cut its capital investment budget to $30 million and its exploration budget to $4 million. Key capex projects include $11 million for capital development, $5 million to expand the tailings management facility as well as changes to the ore handling system, upgrades at the mill, engineering studies, etc. All of the $4 million exploration budget will be expensed. Focus will be on conversion drilling in the Offset zone and definition drilling in the Offset zone extensions.
Commented president and CEO Phil du Toit, “We recognize that our ability to proceed with our plans is contingent on securing additional financing, which we are working hard to complete. The fundamentals of our asset base remain robust, offering good upside to deliver future production growth in a market where the demand exceeds supply. As part of our long term objective of becoming a low cost mid-tier palladium producer, in 2014 we also plan to determine the most optimal plan for future organic growth so that we can optimize the resources and leverage the historical investments in site infrastructure.”
A photo gallery of the Lac des Iles mine is posted at NAPalladium.com.