May 21, 2020

Palladium Climbs to the Top of Precious Metals Prices

Bizclik Editor
9 min

NEW YORK, Jan. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Palladium has become the most valuable of the four major precious metals. It is one of the six platinum-group metals, which includes ruthenium, rhodium, osmium, iridium and platinum. Palladium is used as a crucial component in pollution-control devices for cars and trucks where it helps turn toxic pollutants into less harmful carbon dioxide and water vapor. Outside the auto industry, the metal is used in electronics, dentistry and jewelry. According to a report by Bloomberg, Palladium metal is mined primarily in Russia and South Africa and is mostly extracted as a secondary product from operations that are focused on other metals, such as platinum or nickel. What is driving up the prices of the metal is a supply shortage and increasing demand. Russia's MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC is the biggest palladium producer and shares of the company surged on Monday during trading on the Moscow Exchange, hitting an all-time high. The metal, which was trading at about USD 2,500 an ounce on Monday, is now more expensive than gold. It has jumped by more than 25% in the last two weeks alone, and almost doubled in value over the last year, according to Russia Today. Palladium One Mining Inc. (OTC: NKORF) (TSX-V: PDM), PolyMet Mining Corp. (NYSE: PLM), Platinum Group Metals Ltd. (NYSE: PLG), Group Ten Metals Inc. (OTC: PGEZF), New Age Metals Inc. (OTC: NMTLF)

In a research reported by S&P Global, Noah analyst Rene Hochreiter explained that "a trader's correction" was possible in the near term, but that fundamentally, the metal remained attractive based on physical tightness and continued buying interest because of stringent emissions standards. Platinum Group Metals CEO Michael Jones, when asked about his company's new Waterberg mine in South Africa said that, "Going forward, hybrids are expected to grow to 20% of the power trains on the road for cars. Again these cars have small gasoline engines and palladium bearing catalytic converters. Also emission standards are getting tougher and tougher, which again increases palladium loadings per car. The future looks very strong on the demand side," according to Mining-Technology.

Palladium One Mining Inc. (OTC: NKORF) (TSX-V: PDM) is also listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker (TSX-V: PDM). Earlier last week, the Company announced that, "it is commencing an induced polarization ("IP") survey on its palladium dominant, LK PGE-Ni-Cu project in Finland. The Company has retained SJ Geophysics Ltd. ("SJ") of Vancouver, B.C., Canada to conduct the survey.

The survey will be conducted with SJ's Volterra 3D IP system, which reads five lines simultaneously to give high resolution, true 3D data. A total of five separate grids will be surveyed totaling 75 line-kilometers. These five grids cumulatively represent ~12 kilometer ("km") of strike length of the highly prospective basal unit of the Koillismaa mafic-ultramafic complex which hosts the Kaukua deposit (see news release September 9, 2019).

'Our Phase 1 program includes both IP geophysics and up to 5,000 meters of diamond drilling. SJ's 3-line 3D IP system was originally used to great effect in the definition drilling of the Kaukua deposit in 2008. We look forward to using the updated high-resolution five line 3D IP system to identify and model zones of higher sulphide concentration along ~12 km of favourable basal contact. This survey is significant as historically only ~4km of LK's ~38 km basal contact has been systematically tested.

Palladium is notably in a multi-year deficit and at all-time record prices of over US$2,100 per ounce. Demand has increased due to stricter auto emission standards and the conversion away from diesel powered vehicles. With approximately 90% of palladium mine supply resulting as a by-product of other mined commodities, existing producers are constrained to increase supply without impacting their overall operation. As a result, new sources of palladium supply are needed to meet demand and help achieve stricter air quality standards.' commented Derrick Weyrauch, President and CEO.

Crews and equipment are mobilized, and the Company expects the surveys to begin next week.

Qualified Person

The technical information in this release has been reviewed and verified by Neil Pettigrew, M.Sc., P. Geo, Vice President of Exploration and a director of the Company and the Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.

About Palladium One: Palladium One Mining Inc. is a palladium dominant, PGE, nickel, copper exploration and development company. Its assets consist of the Lantinen Koillismaa ("LK") PGE-Cu-Ni project, located in north-central Finland and the Tyko Ni-Cu-PGE property, near Marathon, Ontario, Canada."

PolyMet Mining Corp. (NYSE: PLM) announced earlier last March that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had issued its Record of Decision and Section 404 wetlands permit for the NorthMet Project. Along with recently issued state permits, PolyMet now holds all necessary permits to construct and operate the NorthMet copper-nickel-precious metals mine and processing plant located near Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota. PolyMet aims to be the first mining company to commercially produce copper and nickel, in addition to platinum, palladium, gold and cobalt, from one of the four world-class Duluth Complex base and precious metal deposits in the historic Iron Range mining district in northeastern Minnesota. The company expects to build and operate open pit mining operations that are expected to yield approximately 1.2 billion pounds of copper, 170 million pounds of nickel, 6.2 million pounds of cobalt and 1.6 million ounces of precious metals including 1.2 million ounces of palladium and 290,000 ounces of platinum, over a 20-year mine life.

Platinum Group Metals Ltd. (NYSE: PLG) reported last month that the shareholders of Waterberg JV Resources Limited have unanimously approved a recently completed Definitive Feasibility Study for the Waterberg Project.  Platinum Group Metals Ltd. is the operator of the Waterberg Project, a bulk underground palladium and platinum deposit located in South Africa. The Waterberg DFS concludes the Waterberg Project can be one of the largest fully mechanized, low cost platinum group metals mines in the world. The Waterberg Project was discovered by Platinum Group and is being jointly developed with the shareholders of Waterberg JV Co.

Group Ten Metals Inc. (OTCQB: PGEZF) announced on December 18th, initial results from drilling completed in 2019 at the Iron Mountain target area at the Company's flagship Stillwater West PGE-Ni-Cu Project in Montana, USA.  Michael Rowley, President and CEO, commented, "We are very pleased with the results of our first drill program in the Iron Mountain target area, with all three holes delivering some of the longest intervals of mineralization ever encountered in the Stillwater district. We have now confirmed the presence of wide intervals of nickel and copper sulphide mineralization starting from surface that are enriched in platinum, palladium, gold, and cobalt. Overall the results provide an essential proof-of-concept for the presence of 'Platreef-style' bulk tonnage mineralization in the lower Stillwater Complex. Our work is identifying much larger mineralized systems than have previously been recognized in the Stillwater Complex, with results that are comparable to the style of mineralization found in the Platreef of South Africa's Bushveld Complex, host to some of the world's largest nickel-copper sulphide hosted PGE mines."

New Age Metals Inc. (OTCQB: NMTLF) Harry Barr, Chairman & CEO, stated earlier last year; "We are pleased to announce that we have filed our National Instrument 43-101 Technical Report on the Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) on the Company's 100% owned River Valley PGM Project in Sudbury, Ontario Canada (River Valley or the Project) titled 'Technical Report, Updated Mineral Resource Estimate and Preliminary Economic Assessment of the River Valley Project' with an Effective Date of June 27th, 2019. The PEA demonstrates positive economics for a large-scale open pit mining operation, with 14 years of Palladium and Platinum production."  The PEA is a preliminary report that has demonstrated that there are potentially positive economics for a large-scale mining open pit operation, with 14 years of Palladium and Platinum production.

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