Podium flags high value rhodium and iridium at Parks Reef PGM project
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Podium Minerals says updated assays from its Stage 9 and Stage 10 drilling at the Parks Reef project in WA now include results for the high value elements rhodium and iridium.
The 5E PGM (platinum, palladium, gold, rhodium, and iridium) results from Stage 9 were the first assay batch received from the ongoing assaying of pulps from the previously reported 3E PGM (platinum, palladium and gold) intercepts.
Best results include:
Results received from an additional 5 holes from the Stage 10 program include:
Podium Minerals (ASX:POD) MD and CEO Sam Rodda says the inclusion of rhodium and iridium could add “significant value” to the project.
“Global rhodium and iridium production are both less than 1Moz annually (less than 30 tonnes of metal) and ~80% of global production comes from the Bushveld complex in South Africa,” he said.
“Predominantly, rhodium is used alongside platinum and palladium in catalytic converters for its ability to reduce nitrogen oxides in exhaust gases.
“This is a critical component in the reduction of climate change related emissions, with the impact of nitrous oxide (N2O) estimated to be over 200x greater than CO2 over a 100-year timescale.”
Iridium is a critical component in the manufacturing process for many electronic components, due to its use in crucibles able to withstand the heat of crystal-making.
It’s used in PGM alloys with other PGM metals such as ruthenium, platinum and palladium can also significantly improve melting points, hardness and corrosion resistance to different products.
Then there’s the market price – which for rhodium has been greater than US$14,000 per ounce recently and iridium greater than US$4,500 per ounce.
“The inclusion of these rare and valuable elements has potential to add significant value to the project,” Rodda said.
The company says the intercepts returned for Stage 10 continue to support delivery of the Parks Reef Exploration Target of 70 to 75Mt at grade of 1.2 to 1.6g/t 3E PGM.
Stage 10 drilling has shown a 100% success rate intersecting the PGM reef with results indicating large PGM orebody widths and at the higher end of the expected grade.
Of the 51 holes in Stage 10 drilling, 27 holes are still awaiting assays, with results expected across the remainder of this quarter.
The plan now is to continue testing all Stage 10 intercepts for the presence of rhodium, iridium and base metals (copper and nickel) that will inform Podium’s 5E4 PGM resource upgrade.
This article was developed in collaboration with Podium Minerals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.