NAP Extends Mine Life at Lac des Iles

The Lac de Iles study calls for mining a total of 37.7 million mt from surface and
underground sources over a 9.5-year mine life.
North American Palladium (NAP) has announced the results of a feasibility study that includes a new life-of-mine plan for its Lac des Iles mine in northwestern Ontario. Highlights of the study include mining a total of 37.7 million mt from surface and underground sources over a 9.5-year mine life at an average grade of 2.21 g/mt palladium and containing 2.68 million oz of palladium.

Life-of-mine mill throughput will average about 12,250 mt/d, and production of payable palladium will average about 214,400 oz/y. At full production, palladium production will total about 237,000 oz/y.

In 2016, NAP produced 149,535 payable oz of palladium, down from 166,785 oz in 2015. Total life-of-mine capital expenditures for the expansion are estimated at C$303 million, and all-in sustaining costs are estimated at US$527/oz of palladium sold.

Mine production will include approximately 20.4 million mt of underground mining down to the 1305-m level, primarily from a new sublevel shrinkage mining method, and approximately 17.3 million mt of surface material, primarily from a pushback of the currently dormant Roby open pit. The underground mine plan is anchored by long-term production from the Lac des Iles Lower Offset Zone, which is expected to produce a life-of-mine average of 4,000 mt/d.

A majority of the underground production will be hoisted to the surface. The balance will be trucked to surface using the existing Roby underground mine ramp.

The new Lac des Iles life-of-mine plan includes resumption of surface mining operations, commencing in 2018 with initial ore production for the Sheriff pit and pre-stripping on the larger Roby pit pushback. The Sheriff pit plan calls for extraction of 500,000 mt of ore at an average grade of 1.9 g/mt palladium and a strip ratio of 3.86:1. The plan for the Roby pit pushback calls for extraction of 11.7 million mt at an average grade of 1.29 g/mt palladium and a strip ratio of 1.98:1.

The Roby pit pushback will be in continuous production for nine years, beginning in 2018 at an average rate of 3,700 mt/d and reaching peak ore production of about 5,000 mt/d in 2022. Surface production will be augmented by NAPís lowgrade surface stockpile until 2023.

As featured in Womp 2017 Vol 07 -