Podium boosts WA platinum target

03 March 2022
Article by Business News

Podium Minerals has boosted its exploration potential at its Parks Reef project in WA with recent drilling underscoring a much larger target over 12km. The company is gearing up to drill test the full extent of the reef to depths of 250m, with the revised target of 70 million tonnes to 75Mt at 1.2 grams per tonne to 1.6 g/t gold for 2.7 million ounces to 3.8Moz platinum-palladium-gold has been estimated by projecting the mineralised zone currently within the inferred mineral resource model.

Podium Minerals recently boosted its previous platinum group metals, or “PGM” estimates by 28 per cent to 2.8 million ounces grading 1.56 grams per tonne PGM. The copper estimates also experienced a healthy increase rising by 31 per cent to 27.8m tonnes at 0.24 per cent copper for 104,000t of contained copper.

Podium’s confidence has soared in its revised exploration target with drilling to date consistently hitting mineralisation of the platinum group metals at depths in excess of 100m along 15km strike of the reef, according to the company.

The reef presents near surface with an average true width of approximately 15m and dips steeply in such a way that it lies near vertical. The deepest drilling to date has intersected the reef at approximately 250m vertical depth with the mineralisation remaining open.

Encouragingly, the company says the latest three-hole deep diamond drilling program intersected the reef more than 500m below the surface indicating it stretches to at least that depth.

Whilst geological logging and sampling of the drill core is underway, the company says visual analysis of the holes suggests the geology of the interpreted reef zone is consistent with the near surface geology of Parks Reef, providing further confidence of mineralisation continuing to significant depth.

The gentle hum of the drill rig can already be heard with 2,600m of reverse circulation drilling eking out the extents of the easily accessible supergene enriched oxide zone to depths of 100m. The campaign will also target a previously untested cross section of the reef.

A further 10,000 metres program is slated to follow to plumb up to depths of 160m to gainer a greater understanding of the riches that lie below.

Podium Minerals’ Chief Executive Officer Sam Rodda said:

“Recent deep hole drilling in December has built our geological confidence and enabled us to advance Stage 9 and 10 drilling with confidence to achieve our goal to develop a long-term Australian supply of critical PGM minerals.”

In its quest to develop an alternative supply of PGMs to the world market, Podium is also looking to create further value from its resource by re-assaying its drill samples for the lesser-known PGMs of iridium, rhodium, osmium and ruthenium.

Management says the drilling that defined its Parks Reef resource only saw select intercepts assayed for iridium and rhodium despite both minerals being intersected in the lower horizons of the reef.

The price of iridium soared from just below US$2,000 an ounce last year to over US$6,000 an ounce on the back of increasing demand, with prices now hovering around US$4,000 an ounce.

Iridium is one of the rarest metals in the earth’s crust and as one of the most corrosion-resistant metals is finding increasing use in the development of hydrogen fuel cells in the global transition to green energy.

Another stellar performer of the PGMs is rhodium rising from US$14,000 an ounce to peaking at US$20,000 an ounce this year alone. The company plans to incorporate the high value elements in future resource updates for Parks Reef.

With a bigger target to now hit, Podium will be keen to get the drill rig working to find out just how much of the precious minerals the reef is holding. If the company can continue to deliver the consistent results the news ow should be coming thick and fast.