Australia-based mineral explorer, Platina Resources Limited (ASX: PGM) has announced to have received government support for its wholly owned Skaergaard Project, located on the east coast of Greenland.
The Mineral Licence and Safety Authority of the Greenland Government has advised towards the renewal of the Skaergaard exploration licence (EL2007/01). According to the company report, the licence would be renewed for a further three-year period until 31 December 2022. This would help the Company in searching an appropriate investment partner to advance the project.
The Government has also approved a temporary adjustment and removed all the 2020 tenement expenditure obligations on all mining projects in Greenland in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, as social distancing measures continue to be observed.
PGM Managing Director, Mr Corey Nolan, commented on the new developments and stated that the government’s support would help strengthen Platina Resources’ early stage discussions with multiple potential investment partners, who had particularly been drawn by palladium’s strong price performance over the last one year.
Besides, the Company has made a considerable saving and any expenses incurred at this project during 2020 would be carried as credits that can be use in the next 3-year period.
Let us now look at the project details and prospective plans of the Company in relation to the project.
Casting Eye on Skaergaard Project
Skaergaard Gold and Platinum Group Metal Project is one of the world’s largest undeveloped gold deposits and largest palladium resources located outside of Russia and South Africa, with by-product metals - magnetite and vanadium. A potential extension of this deposit is the Qialivarteerpik Multi-Element Project, comprising two key project areas being Miki Fjord Dyke and Sportika Greenstone Belt.
SRK Consulting had independently completed a new internal Scoping Study for the Skaergaard Project in December 2019, highlighting the project’s development potential (the scale, capital, and operating costs).
Some Key Highlights of the Scoping Study include:
- A large-scale underground mining operation and process plant with a large initial capital outlay required to realise the benefits of economies of scale.
- Project economics, highly sensitive to changes in revenue, operating and capital costs, demonstrated a positive outcome.
Since then, Platina Resources has been looking out for a financial and technical partner for developing the project and take it forward to the feasibility stage. Advancing to feasibility study would require drilling to convert mineral resources from inferred to indicated (estimated at over 10,000 m), and detailed metallurgical test work for determination of processing characteristics and refinement of the process route, as well as quality and pricing of saleable products.
Palladium: Market Opportunity
Palladium is a rare precious / industrial metal with unique catalytic and physical properties. It is used in catalytic converters in the automotive industry, as well as for making jewellery like white gold and for petroleum cracking.
The white transition metal is a dominant material for gasoline (petrol) engine auto-catalyst emission controls including hybrids. Owing to climate change, governments across the globe have introduced stricter global emission standards around car emissions that is draining a global supply already struggling to meet demand.
There was a major rise in palladium price in February 2020 to a record high of USD 2875 per ounce, surpassing the price of gold and becoming one of most valuable metals on earth. Although, palladium prices have eased to just below USD 2000 per ounce in early May 2020 at the background of the impacts being felt due to coronavirus pandemic, the current prices still represent a 38% increase from the prior corresponding period in 2019.
Going forth, Mr Corey Nolan expects that the prices and demand for the metal would stay buoyant for the remaining year 2020 and have a positive impact on the project’s economics and business case.
With a helping hand from the Greenland Government, partnering process for the project is expected to gather pace amid strong economic headwinds, thereby enabling PGM to continue focusing on creating shareholder value.
Stock Information: On 5 May 2020, the PGM stock closed the trading higher at AUD 0.017, climbing up 13.33% or by AUD 0.002 with ~ 2.36 million shares traded. Also, on 6 May 2020 (AEST 11:12 PM), the stock was trading upward by 5.882% to $0.018. PGM has generated a 1-month return of 21.43%.
Interesting Read: Platina Resources' Business Continuity Plan Amid COVID-19 Headwinds