Price per ounce
Sources: Johnson Matthey
PARKS REEF PGM PROJECT
A 15km long, bulk tonnage PGM deposit with high-grade zones, still open at depth and along strike.
Located 80km west of Meekatharra in the mid-west region of Western Australia, Parks Reef is transitioning from exploration to development and hosts the only 5E PGM mineral resource in Australia of 143Mt @ 1.30g/t 5E PGM; including high-grade zones recorded at ≥ 2.0g/t of 15.7Mt @ 2.32g/t 5E PGM.
The Parks Reef Project is strategically positioned to deliver an Australian PGM supply and meet growing global demand for critical metals. These metals will support the transition to a low carbon clean energy future through feed hydrogen fuel cell technological developments.
Platinum Group Metals Project located in a premier Western Australian mining jurisdiction.
The Parks Reef asset is situated to the north of Cue and west of Meekatharra in the mid-west Yilgarn, an emerging and highly prospective province for several developing Platinum Group Metals (PGM) and base metal plays.
Its advantageous position in a highly regarded mining jurisdiction is complemented by easy access to regional infrastructure and mining services, including major haul roads (75km from Great Northern Highway via the Beringarra-Cue Road), transport routes and a port, with important proximity to regional and Perth-centric workforces.
REEF STRUCTURE AND OREBODY
Large scale, steeply dipping PGM resource with reef continuity confirmed at depth.
The true width of Parks Reef averages around 20m in the Western and Central sectors and reduces to around 15m in the Eastern sector. It dips steeply to the south-east providing a favourable geometry for both open pit and underground mining.
A deep drilling programme of 3 holes spaced along the 15km strike length has intersected the reef at approximately 500m vertical below the surface, with mineralisation remaining open and consistent to that encountered near surface – showing the potential for a globally significant PGM operation.
Parks Reef has a considerable number of options for production pathways that will be comprehensively explored via a definitive feasibility study. Processing and metallurgy work is underway to include preferred processing routes, targeting maximum recoveries of 5E PGMs plus base metals (copper, nickel and cobalt).
Building geological confidence in a long-term, stable Australian supply of critical platinum group metals
In April 2022, Parks Reef was confirmed as a 5E PGM orebody after testing of historic 3E PGM intercepts confirmed the presence of high-value Rhodium (Rh) and Iridium (Ir) mineralisation.
A resource expansion programme of drilling was completed in July 2022 testing the Exploration Target of 70-75Mt at a grade of 1.2 to 1.6g/t 3E PGM.
A new Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) was announced on 31 October 2022 based on the results from the resource expansion programme that returned an updated Inferred Resource for the PGM reef of 6.0Moz of 5E PGM.
The updated PGM horizon contains 0.64g/t platinum (Pt), 0.52g/t palladium (Pd), 0.07g/t (Au), 0.05g/t rhodium (Rh) and 0.02g/t iridium (Ir) including 94kt copper (Cu), 127kt nickel (Ni) and 24kt cobalt (Co).
(i) Note small discrepencies may occur due to rounding
(ii) Cut-off grade is defined by the PGM Domain nominally ≥ 0.5g/t 5E PGM; 5E PGM refers to platinum (Pt) + palladium (Pd) + gold (Au) +
Rhodium (Rh) + Iridium (Ir) expressed in units g/t
The upgraded MRE of 143Mt for 6.00Moz at 1.30g/t 5E PGM represents a doubling of contained 5E PGMs.
Outstanding substantial high-grade zones defined in Mineral Resource Expansion
Included within the new MRE are defined high-grade zones, ≥ 2g/t 5E PGM, one zone exists adjacent to the hanging wall of the PGM horizon and the other zone adjacent to the footwall.
The high-grade zones host a combined 15.7Mt for 1.17Moz at 2.32g/t 5E PGM (1.27g/t Pt, 0.84g/t Pd, 0.14g/t Au, 0.04g/t Rh and 0.03g/t Ir).
The grade-tonnage curve for the current MRE is shown below. It highlights a close association between cut-off grade and the resource reported within the modelled PGM reef and HG zone(s), this adds to the overall confidence in the resource model.
PROJECT GEOLOGY AND MINERALISATION
Composition of the Parks Reef project
The Gnanagooragoo Igneous Complex is in the northwestern corner of the Archean Yilgarn Craton and hosts the Weld Range Complex (WRC). The WRC is described as consisting of a funnel-shaped ultramafic lower part (very poorly exposed) and a wide, thick, gabbroic upper part.
The basal ultramafic member is comprised of rhythmically layered, serpentinised peridotite. Serpenitised peridotite is composed of predominantly banded, high-magnesian, chromite-rich dunite with adcumulus texture likely derived from komatiitic magma in the mantle. A concentration of clinopyroxene at the stratigraphic top of the dunite has resulted in a 500m thick wehrlite layer.
The upper portion of the wehrlite is in contact with the gabbroic mafic volcanics, and it is the upper portion of the wehrlite that hosts the Parks Reef PGM mineralisation. The mafic-ultramafic contact strikes to the North-northeast and dips steeply to the south-southeast.
This contact effectively defines the top of the base metal and gold horizon. The base metal and gold horizon then passes into, and partially overlaps, the upper portion of the Parks Reef PGM horizon that exhibits elevated gold, copper, nickel and cobalt grades. Post-mineralisation felsic intrusions cut across the reef that do not appear to stope out the mineralisation, but rather occupy areas of dilation. The standard reef stratigraphy can often be traced on either side of the intrusives.
Metals distribution within the reef
The reef exhibits a standard distribution of metals and grade both along strike and down dip that has formed the basis for the 3D modelling of the resource. It is based on grade boundaries of 0.5g/t 5E PGM (PGM reef) and 2.0g/t 5E PGM (HG (high grade) Zone(s)) that are shown in the figure below.
The MRE now includes a high-grade PGM subset defined on an elevated cut-off of ≥ 2g/t 5E PGM. The high-grade subset is the addition of two defined high-grade zones that sit within the boundary of the PGM reef, the high-grades zones sit close to the hanging wall of the orebody and the footwall of the orebody and along the 15km strike. the high-grade zone(s) hosts 15.7Mt for 1.17Moz at 2.32g/t 5E PGM (1.27g/t Pt, 0.84g/t Pd, 0.14g/t Au, 0.04g/t Rh and 0.03g/t Ir).
The orebody does show some variation in orebody widths and grades, and the definition of these high-grade areas – along with reef width – will be an important step in future work. This includes definition of infill drilling, exploration drilling programmes, optimising mining methods and refining processing pathways.
Podium is targeting both high grade and bulk tonnage PGM-Au-base metals suitable to develop a low-cost, open pit mining operation. Future access to high grade zones of PGM mineralisation is available at deeper levels through development of underground mining operations from the base of the open pit.
Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) is the term used to describe six physically and chemically similar metallic elements that generally occur together in mineral deposits.
Primary applications for PGMs are evident in the industrial, medical and technological sectors. PGMs are valued for their versatility and contribution to the function of numerous everyday products and materials.
World supply of PGM is dominated by South Africa, Russia and Zimbabwe, which contribute over 90% of platinum and 80% of palladium mine production.