ONTARIO – Toronto-based NORTH AMERICAN PALLADIUM is finding long-term potential for the Offset high-grade zone at its Lac des Iles palladium mine, north of Thunder Bay. The preliminary economic assessment prepared for the company outlines a zone that will support underground production to 2018 at 250,000 oz of palladium per year (plus byproducts). A feasibility study is next.
The study, prepared by MICON INTERNATIONAL, concluded that for an initial capital cost of $37 million the zone can be mined using a series of conveyors and access ramps. The Offset could be developed for longhole stoping by extending the existing ramp. Production from the upper portion could begin by late 2010 and ramp up to 6,000 t/d by 2012.
The base case scenario predicts an internal rate of return (IRR) of 29% and payback of capital costs in less than three years. Operating costs are projected to be $37.75/tonne.
More information about the Lac des Iles mine is posted at www.NAPalladium.com.