At $25k an ounce, Rhodium is the world’s most valuable metal… and Podium just found a heap of it at Park’s Reef

28 March 2022
Article by Stockhead

Podium’s re-assaying of historical 3E platinum group metal (PGM) intercepts just confirmed Parks Reef is home to a most significant amount of rhodium – the world’s rarest and most valuable metal.

Rhodium is not easy to find. It ain’t readily available and it certainly isn’t going for a song.

The corrosion resistant and famously shy member of the Platinum family is used as a catalyst in the chemical industry and to coat optical fibres, optical mirrors… and headlight reflectors.

Frankly, that last one seems like a bit of a waste considering it’s currently valued at about US$18,800 ($25,018) an ounce and can also reduce nitrous oxide emissions from gasoline without even really trying.

Podium Minerals’ (ASX:POD) performed well, taking the time and care to work through some 700 samples from 31 historical holes which had returned results such as 4m grading 1.92 grams per tonne (g/t) 3E PGM, 0.14g/t rhodium and 0.08g/t iridium from 28m and 8m at 2.57g/t 3E PGM, 0.15g/t rhodium and 0.06g/t iridium from 30m.

The presence of iridium – another absolute corker of a critical metal – adds further value although this one is a relative steal at current market prices of about US$5,100 per ounce.

Assays for the full five PGM elements are pending from a further treasure chest of 2,100 historical samples.

“We are starting to see exciting results on the back of strategic value addition activities that commenced at the start of 2022,” chief executive officer Sam Rodda said.

“Assaying historic drill holes allows us to build on Parks Reef as a 5E PGM orebody, adding significant metal value to the project.

“The rhodium and iridium assay results are in line with our expectations and together with historic assays they provide confidence of their existence throughout the orebody.”

More drilling to come

Podium has also completed its Stage 9 drill program of 22 holes totalling 1,711m and has started its 50-hole Stage 10 program that is focussed on converting the current Exploration Target into Inferred Resources.

The Stage 9 program consisted of infill holes that targeted the near surface supergene enriched mineralisation that was not previously tested as well as certain sections of the Inferred resource where minor drill data gaps existed.

First assays for the 3E PGM mineralisation is expected by mid-April while the results from the full 5E PGM analysis are expected from late April.

5E assays are also pending from the Stage 8 deep diamond drilling that was co-funded by the West Australian government’s Exploration Incentive Scheme to test Parks Reef about 500m below the surface.

Pending the success of its Stage 10 program, further drilling campaigns have been planned for Stage 11 and Stage 13 that will continue to explore the Parks Reef orebody at depths below 250m.

Podium is also planning infill and technical drilling in Stage 12 located on higher grade and larger width zones of the reef that have been identified as likely starter mine options to support a development study.