Stillwater drills 0.7% NiEq over 7.3 metres at Stillwater West, Montana
Stillwater Critical Minerals Corp. [PGE-TSXV; PGEZF-OTCQB; 5D32-FSE], formerly Group Ten Metals, has found wide, high-grade intervals of nickel sulphide mineralization with palladium, platinum, rhodium, cobalt, copper and gold in a final tranche of first-pass drill results from the 14-hole resource expansion campaign completed at the 100%-owned flagship Stillwater West platinum-group-element-nickel-copper-cobalt-plus-gold project in Montana, United States. Additional rhodium results are pending.
Results continue to support the company’s priority objective of expanding the October, 2021, inaugural mineral resource estimates with multiple wide and highly mineralized intervals returned in stepout drilling in six holes at the HGR deposit area at Iron Mountain. Drilling in 2021 focused on resource expansion in three of the five deposit areas delineated by the 2021 estimates. Similar wide and well-mineralized intervals have now been reported from all three deposit areas as announced Dec. 20, 2021, March 7, 2022, and May 3, 2022.
Mineralization remains open to expansion along trend and at depth in all five deposit areas, which are set within 12 km of the broader 32-km-long land package in the lower Stillwater igneous complex.
Highlights from six holes drilled in the HGR deposit area in 2021 include drill hole IM2021-05 that returned 379.2 metres of continuous battery and precious metal mineralization starting at surface and grading 0.33% nickel equivalent (NiEq), equal to 0.88 g/t palladium equivalent (PdEq), with successive contained higher-grade intervals including 133.2 metres of 0.38% NiEq (1.01 g/t PdEq); 21.5 metres of 0.66% NiEq (1.75 g/t PdEq); and 7.3 metres of 0.79% NiEq (2.11 g/t PdEq) as 0.45% nickel, 0.51 g/t palladium plus platinum plus gold plus rhodium (4E), 0.17% copper and 0.026% cobalt.
IM2021-05 is the second most highly mineralized drill hole ever recorded in the Stillwater district with a grade-thickness value of 334 gram metres PdEq after CM2021-01, which returned 530 gram metres PdEq.
IM2021-06 returned 94.0 metres of 0.48% NiEq (1.28 g/t PdEq) within 333.0 metres of continuous mineralization grading 0.28% NiEq (0.73 g/t PdEq). Additional contained intervals at higher grades include 26.4 metres of 0.63% NiEq (1.69 g/t PdEq) and 4.8 metres of 1.38 g/t 4E, which includes 0.077 g/t rhodium.
IM2021-04, partially reported on March 7, 2022, returned 115.0 metres of 0.38% NiEq (1.02 g/t PdEq) within 306.5 metres of continuous mineralization grading 0.26% NiEq (0.68g/t PdEq). Additional contained intervals at higher grades include 9.8 metres of high-grade PGE mineralization with 0.89% NiEq (2.38 g/t PdEq) as 1.54 g/t 4E, including 1.02 g/t Pd, 0.39 g/t Pt and 0.064 g/t Rh, along with base metal mineralization; 4.8 metres of high-grade battery metal mineralization with 1.47% NiEq (3.91 g/t PdEq) as 0.74% Ni, 0.65% Cu and 0.070% Co, plus 0.30 g/t 4E, including 0.055 g/t Rh.
Drilling in the HGR deposit area in 2021 focused on stepout holes in the area of IM-2019-03, which returned 272.5 metres of 0.42% NiEq (1.11 g/t PdEq), including 26.8 metres of 0.96% NiEq (2.55 g/t PdEq) as 0.34% Ni, 0.15% Cu, 0.019% Co, 0.33 g/t Pt, 0.77 g/t Pd, 0.08 g/t Au and 0.049 g/t Rh.
These results, alongside results released May 3 and March 7, 2022, and Dec. 20, 2021, demonstrate significant potential to expand the October, 2021, mineral resource estimates with multiple long intervals at grades well above the 0.20% NiEq cut-off grade used in that study. Potential is also shown to expand existing resources at higher cut-off grades, such as 0.35% and 0.50% NiEq. Moreover, these results provide important intercepts in stepout drill holes located up to several hundred metres from the resource estimate block models.
Results also continue to highlight the potential for significant co-product rhodium values at Stillwater West, with drill samples in Iron Mountain holes IM2021-04, -05 and -06 returning up to 0.365 g/t Rh within the mineralized horizons. At recent values, rhodium trades at more than 16 times the value of platinum and seven times the value of palladium on a spot price basis at over US$14,000/oz. Sibanye-Stillwater, adjacent to Stillwater’s Stillwater West project, is the primary U.S. producer. Supply constraints for rhodium have supported rising prices since 2017.
Complete first-pass assay results have now been reported from all 14 holes drilled in 2021. Additional rhodium assays are pending on mineralized intervals.
Dr. Danie Grobler, vice-president of exploration, commented: “Stillwater West continues to demonstrate significant equivalence with the Platreef deposits of the northern Bushveld complex. Albie Brits and I are actively applying our combined four decades of Platreef experience in our new roles at Stillwater Critical Minerals with a priority on updating the geologic model to support planning and refining of drill targets for the next phase of follow-on work. Our current focus is to define detailed stratigraphic and structural controls within the 2021 inferred resource areas. We are also in the process of reviewing and prioritizing higher-grade pegmatoidal pyroxenite targets within the Stillwater stratigraphy that have not been fully tested.”