Podium is accelerating its Park Reef PGM (platinum group metals) project ahead of expectations, wrapping up plans for the next two stages of drilling as momentum carries its ambitious deep diamond drill program beyond a depth of half a-kilometre.

Podium is currently two thirds of the way through its Stage 8 deep diamond drilling program designed to test reef grade continuity and thickness at about 520m below surface that’s more than twice the depth of any previous drilling.

Data from the drilling is expected to improve interpretation of the intrusive complex and provide valuable vectors toward zones hosting higher grade and/or thickness of PGM mineralisation.

Podium Minerals (ASX:POD) notes that core from the first two holes, which are co-funded to the tune of $150,000 by the West Australian state government’s Exploration Incentive Scheme, are now being logged and sampled.

The third hole, which is not included in the co-funding agreement, is expected to be completed early in January 2022.

Further drilling programs and other work

Plans are also being finalised for the Stage 9 and 10 reverse circulation drilling programs that are aimed at increasing the existing resource of 2.2Moz of platinum, palladium and gold (3E PGM) and 79,000t of copper that extend over 15km of strike but only to a depth of 100m.

The 2,600m Stage 9 program will test the reef at shallow depths, where previous drilling tested below the base of oxidation.

It will also test cross sections of the reef where access has been precluded to date due to a recorded cultural heritage site which is the subject of a Section 18 clearance.

Stage 10 will be a larger program of an initial 10,000m that will complete drilling on 200m spaced sections to sufficient depths to support expansion of an Inferred resource estimate to 200m below surface, or about twice of the depth of the current resource.

Podium meets rhodium

Podium has also submitted archived pulp samples from all significant drill intervals for re-analysis that will include testing for all 5E PGM elements, which include rhodium and iridium, to enable their inclusion in future resource upgrades.

Rhodium is considered to be the best catalyst for the after-treatment of gasoline nitrogen oxides emissions, while iridium is the most corrosion-resistant metal known and commonly used as a hardening agent.

Both have asking prices that are several times that of platinum, meaning that it won’t take much of either element to improve the economics of the Podium project.

While previous analysis had focused on gold, platinum and palladium, selected drill intersections that were analysed for the full suite of PGM (platinum group metals) elements had returned significant and consistent grades of rhodium and iridium in the lower horizons of the reef.

Flotation test work is also underway on selected Parks Reef samples to assess and establish the optimum flow sheet.



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.