New Age Metals Inc. [NAM-TSXV, PAWEF-OTCQB] is moving to capitalize on investor interest in both lithium and platinum group metals by proceeding with exploration and development programs in Ontario and Manitoba.
The announcement comes as the price of palladium trades near an all-time high of US $1,083.15 an ounce. Interest in lithium is tied to its role in the production of lithium-ion batteries used in the production of electric vehicles.
Both of the company’s mineral divisions – platinum group metals in Ontario and lithium in Manitoba – have aggressive exploration and development programs planned for 2018, the company said.
New Age’s 100%-owned River Valley property 60 km northeast of Sudbury, Ontario is the largest undeveloped primary PGM resource in Canada, with 3.9 million ounces of palladium equivalent in the measured plus indicated category, including an additional 1.2 million ounces in inferred. The Northern portion of the project (Dana North), not including the new high-grade Pine Zone, hosts an additional 24 million tonnes of palladium equivalent.
In October, 2016, the company announced the purchase 100% of Mustang Minerals Corp.’s [MUM-TSXV, MSMGF-OTC] six strategic mineralized claims which lie adjacent and to the south of the New Age’s River Valley Project. The six acquired claims overlay a 4-km long PGM mineralized trend with is the southward continuation of the River Valley PGM deposit on New Age’s mining leases to the north.
Mustang’s work on the property included mapping, prospecting, geophysical surveys and diamond drilling. A total of 57 diamond holes were drilled for more than 16,000 metres. Highlights include 1.42 g/t PGM over 9 metres.
Plans for this year include a large geophysical program, an updated NI 43-101 compliant resource calculation and a program to outline drill targets on the company’s newly discovered footwall mineralization zones. The updated resource estimate will incorporate all the drilling since 2012, when the previous estimate was calculated.
New Age said River Valley PGM has excellent infrastructure and is located within 100 km of the Sudbury Metallurgical Complex. Palladium and sister metal platinum are used in catalytic converters in internal combustion engine vehicles.
Meanwhile, New Age said a minimum of $500,000 will be spent this year at the Lithium Division in Manitoba by joint venture partner Azincourt Energy Corp. [AAZ-TSXV]. The division includes five pegmatite-hosted Lithium Projects in the Winnipeg River Pegmatite Field in southeast Manitoba. Three of the projects are drill ready.
On January 15, 2018, the company said it had optioned the five Manitoba properties to Azincourt Energy, which can earn up to a 100% interest all five. Under the agreement, Azincourt will commit up to $3.85 million in exploration, up to 3 million Azincourt shares to New Age, up to $210,000 in cash and allow New Age to retain a 2% net smelter royalty on all five projects.
Exploration plans for 2018 are currently in progress, the company said.
New Age shares rose 4.17% or $0.005 to 12.5 cents on Wednesday. The shares are trading in a 52-week range of $18.5 and $0.05.