Podium has claimed an Australian first with the inclusion of rhodium and iridium to its Parks Reef resource in WA that substantially increases its value.

The addition of the two valuable metals increases the resource by 5% 52.5Mt at 1.64 grams per tonne (g/t) 5E platinum group metals – containing 0.81g/t platinum, 0.66g/t palladium, 0.08g/t gold, 0.06g/t rhodium and 0.03g/t iridium, or 3Moz 5E PGM.

Importantly for Podium Minerals (ASX:POD), this has increased the average weighted price per ounce of Parks Reef PGM by 44% to $2,827 while the inclusion of the base metals resource of 0.07% copper and 0.09% nickel as well as cobalt grading 0.018% could add another 35%, or up to $3,804/oz.

Any potential early mining works will also be facilitated by the upper PGM horizon hosting higher grade zones totalling 12.3Mt at 2.05g/t 5E PGM (1.08g/t platinum, 0.70g/t palladium, 0.21g/t gold, 0.03g/t rhodium and 0.02g/t iridium).

However, this does not discount the importance of the lower PGM horizon as it boasts higher grades of rhodium and iridium, which have global production of less than 1Moz per annum each despite being used in catalytic converters and electronic components respectively.

This rarity also accounts for their higher prices – above US$14,500/oz for rhodium and US$6,000 for iridium – compared to gold, which is currently trading about US$1,770/oz.

“The addition of these metals adds significant value to the project and will be included in the upcoming scoping study. All metals exist within the existing PGM reef and the preliminary metallurgical work is already considering how we maximise their recoveries within existing contemplated processing streams,” managing director Sam Rodda said.

“Value addition to the Parks Reef Project remains at the forefront of our plans. Understanding and evaluating payable metals within the existing orebody will be incorporated with the next resource update planned for early in the December quarter.

“This coming upgrade is targeting the addition of significant PGM ounces based on the Exploration Target of 2.7Moz – 3.8Moz via the stage 10 drilling results.”

Resource growth on the horizon

While results from the Stage 10 drilling are not included in the current resource, the results received to date have been encouraging to say the least.

Podium has thus far enjoyed a 100% success rate from the program with all holes reported to date intersecting the PGM reef.

Recent assays such as 14m at 1.65g/t 3E PGM (with rhodium and iridium pending) underscore the reef’s significant continuity and consistency over its full 15km strike length, which bodes well for further resource upgrades.

Of the 51 holes in Stage 10 drilling, 27 holes are still awaiting assays, with results expected across the remainder of this quarter.



This article was developed in collaboration with Podium Minerals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.