Canada

River Valley Project

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Categories

Overview

Mine TypeOpen Pit & Underground
StagePermitting
Commodities
  • Palladium
  • Platinum
  • Rhodium
  • Gold
  • Copper
  • Nickel
  • Cobalt
  • Silver
  • PGM
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
  • Transverse stoping
  • Sub-level stoping
  • Longitudinal stoping
  • Cemented rockfill
  • Unconsolidated rockfill
Mine Life16 years (as of Jan 1, 2023)
ShapshotThe River Valley Project is based on a smaller, higher-grade operation with lower initial capital costs, reduced open pit mining (both tonnage and number of open pits), inclusion of underground mining, and a much smaller environmental footprint, to provide mineralized feed to an on-site 2.5 Mtpa process plant.

The River Valley Project includes a conventional open pit mining operation. Higher grade underground mineralization is planned to be mined during production years two to seven. Major infrastructure for the River Valley Project includes five open pit mines, two underground mines.

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
New Age Metals Inc. 100 % Indirect
River Valley PGM Project is 100% owned by New Age Metals (NAM).

Contractors

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Deposit type

  • Breccia pipe / Stockwork
  • Intrusion related

Summary:

River Valley is a contact-type PGE mineralization deposit (Peck et al., 2001; Kaykowski et al., 2018). Mineral exploration at River Valley has traditionally focused on the contacttype PGE mineralization in the known zones. However, presence of several highly-anomalous assays of surface grab samples of outcrops within higher portions of the River Valley Intrusion stratigraphy suggests that opportunities may exist for notable reef or stratiform-type PGE mineralization, or narrow, high-grade breccia zones internally within the Intrusion

Mineralization
Disseminated, bleb, fragment, interstitial and veinlet chalcopyrite-pyrrhotite-pentlandite mineralization (<1% to 5% sulphide minerals, up to 10 g/t Pt+Pd) occurs in autolith-rich gabbronorite breccia within 5 to 50 m of the basal contact of the River Valley Intrusion. The mineralization is spatially associated with gabbro-norite cumulates and autoliths that are elsewhere poorly represented in the igneous stratigraphy of the River Valley Intrusion.

Sulphide Minerals and Assemblages
The sulphide mineralogy is predominantly pyrrhotite, chalcopyrite and pentlandite, with minor amounts of pyrite and millerite and rare bornite, cubanite, mackinawite and arsenopyrite. Typical sulphides and sulphide mineral associations are shown in Figures 7.16 and 7.17. Large bodies of sulphide are variably altered and replaced by fine-grained secondary amphibole, minor quartz and biotite, which gives many of the bodies irregular contacts or resulted in larger sulphides being reduced in size to small patches of disseminated grains within the alteration silicates. Locally, pyrrhotite altered to pyrite and pentlandite to millerite. Chalcopyrite is also present and may have recrystallized textures. Similar sulphide assemblages, alteration and recrystallization textures have previously been reported associated with PGM mineralization at the Lac des Iles Complex, northwestern Ontario (Djon and Barnes, 2012) and in the Bushveld Complex, South Africa (Smith et al., 2011).

Platinum Group Minerals
Holwell et al. (2014) identified a total of 172 PGM in ten polished thin-sections from mineralized (>1 g/t Pd) samples of mafic inclusions, amphibolite inclusions, and gabbroic matrix from River Valley. Each individual grain was classified by compositional type and textural association (Table 7.1). The vast majority of minerals were Pd and Pt phases; with a few grains of platarsite, hollingworthite and laurite (the latter two phases being the sole carriers of Rh and Ru). Minerals containing Os or Ir were not identified. The PGM identified were grouped as: (1) Pd, Pt tellurides; (2) Pd antimoarsenides; (3) Pt arsenides; (4) Pd arsenides; (5) Pd stannides; (6) PGE sulpharsenides; (7) Pt, Pd sulphides; and (8) Au- and Ag-bearing minerals. Each occurrence was also classified by its textural association: that is, enclosed in other PGM or enclosed in silicates, at silicate-silicate boundaries, enclosed in base metal sulphides, at sulphide-silicate boundaries, or sulphide-sulphide boundaries.

PGM Grain Size and Relative Area Analysis According to Holwell et al. (2014), the grain sizes of the PGM ranged from < 1 µm to 41 µm, with most < 10 µm in their longest dimension. The long and short axes of each mineral grain were measured in micrometres. Relative proportions of the various mineral phases and mineral species type (Table 7.2) are based on an estimation of area by using the long and short axes of each grain to approximate each to the area of an ellipse, as described by Holwell et al. (2006). This procedure produces data which accurately reflect the relative proportions of each mineral type within an assemblage and is preferable to proportions of mineral type by number of grains, which can be biased by a relatively large amount of very small grains.

PGM Assemblages
Overall, the assemblage is fairly restricted with only six minerals being identified more than five times. The vast majority are Pd phases, with fewer Pt minerals, and rare other phases. Pd-Pt tellurides make up 60% by area of all the minerals identified, with kotulskite (PdTe), making up 58% by area of all the minerals identified, with a single grain of moncheite (PtTe2) accounting for the other 2%. Sperrylite (PtAs2) is common and Pd arsenides, Pd antimoarsenides, and Pt-Pd sulphides also make up a small, however, significant proportion of the overall assemblage. The sulpharsenides hollingworthite (RhAsS) - platarsite (PtAsS) - ruarsite (RuAsS) series carry all of the Rh and most of the Ru observed, however, are relatively minor. Electrum is very rare with only four grains identified. Texturally, most PGM identified occur as single-phase grains and although the majority of grains were associated with silicates. Note, however, that all mineral grains identified were located less than a mm away from sulphides. In other words, PGM grains were not found in areas free of sulphides.

In detail, the PGM assemblages vary with host rock type. The different mineral assemblages are not preferentially associated with the matrix or a particular inclusion type, however, rather with the type of alteration the rocks underwent. The hydrothermally altered rocks host Pd antimoarsenides and Pd arsenides; however, these minerals were not observed in the metamorphosed rocks. There is almost twice the amount of Pd-Pt tellurides in the metamorphic textured rocks than in their hydrothermally altered equivalents.

PGM in Mafic Inclusions The mafic inclusions can be divided into those that show hydrothermal alteration and those that show recrystallized metamorphic textures (Holwell et al., 2014). Both show a very restricted assemblage made-up of tellurides, arsenides, and antimoarsenides (Figure 7.18A-C). In the hydrothermally altered samples, the majority of the PGM are Pd antimoarsenides (Figure 7.18C) with only 28% Pd-Pt tellurides, whereas in the metamorphosed inclusions, 64% are Pd-Pt tellurides and there are no Pd antimoarsenides.

PGM in Amphibolite Inclusions
The PGM assemblages in the amphibolite inclusions are similar to those in the metamorphosed mafic inclusions. They are dominated by Pd-Pt tellurides, with minor PGE sulpharsenides, and a single grain of the Pd stannide (atokite; Pd3Sn) and Pd antimoarsenides. The kotulskite grains in amphibolite inclusions commonly form laths and are found as inclusions in silicates and sulphides. Although the PGM in the amphibolite inclusions have the most varied number of associations out of all rock types, the minerals commonly have a close proximity to sulphides.

PGM in the Matrix
The rock matrix can also be subdivided into samples that have been altered hydrothermally and those that have undergone metamorphic recrystallization. The difference between the metamorphic and hydrothermal assemblages and associations of matrix rocks is almost identical to those observed for the mafic inclusions. The most abundant PGM type is Pd-Pt tellurides (Figures 7.18G-I) with almost double the amount in metamorphosed than the hydrothermal matrix rocks. There are no Pd antimoarsenides in the metamorphosed matrix and only 0.03% Pd arsenides, whereas these two mineral types combined make up 28% of the hydrothermally altered matrix rocks.

Reserves

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Mining Methods

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Comminution

Crushers and Mills

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Processing

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Production

CommodityProductUnitsAvg. AnnualLOM
Palladium Equivalent Payable metal oz 735,000
Palladium Metal in concentrate oz 47,400
Copper Concentrate kt 12

Operational metrics

Metrics
Daily ore mining rate 0000
Daily processing capacity 0000
Annual ore mining rate 00
Annual processing capacity 00
Waste tonnes, LOM 000000000
Ore tonnes mined, LOM 00000000
Total tonnes mined, LOM 000000000
Tonnes processed, LOM 00000000
* According to 2023 study.

Production Costs

CommodityUnitsAverage
Total cash costs Palladium Equivalent USD 0000
All-in sustaining costs (AISC) Palladium Equivalent USD 0000
Assumed price Rhodium USD 0000
Assumed price Palladium USD 0000
Assumed price Platinum USD 0000
Assumed price Cobalt USD 00
Assumed price Nickel USD 00
Assumed price Copper USD 0
Assumed price Gold USD 0000
* According to 2023 study / presentation.

Operating Costs

Currency2023
OP mining costs ($/t mined) CAD 2.95 *  
OP mining costs ($/t milled) CAD  ....  Subscribe
UG mining costs ($/t milled) CAD  ....  Subscribe
Processing costs ($/t milled) CAD  ....  Subscribe
G&A ($/t milled) CAD  ....  Subscribe
Total operating costs ($/t milled) CAD  ....  Subscribe
* According to 2023 study.

Project Costs

MetricsUnitsLOM Total
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UG OpEx $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
Processing OpEx $M CAD 490.4
G&A costs $M CAD 77.5
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After-tax NPV @ 7% $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
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Heavy Mobile Equipment

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Personnel

Mine Management

Source Source
Job TitleNameEmailProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required ........... Subscription required Subscription required Feb 8, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Jun 29, 2023
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EmployeesContractorsTotal WorkforceYear
Subscription required Subscription required Subscription required 2023

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