Exploration

Strategy

NAP is committed to increasing the value of its Lac des Iles (LDI) Mine and Mill complex through exploration success. The Company maintains a three-tiered exploration strategy that encompasses:

  1. Mineral Reserves replacement on the LDI Mine Property through extension and conversion drilling adjacent to the principal Mineral Reserves and mining areas;
  2. Mineral Resource additions (both underground and at surface) on other parts of the LDI Mine Property through exploration drilling, supported by geophysical and geochemical surveys; and
  3. Delineation of new Mineral Resources on other LDI suite intrusions in the immediate vicinity of the mill.

Lac des iles mine property

Exploration is central to the Lac des Iles (LDI) Mine and Mill operation. Based on structurally-controlled sub-vertical orientation, unusually large thickness and atypical, selective enrichment in palladium relative to platinum, the LDI platinum group element (PGE) deposits are truly one-of-a-kind. In recent years, the mine exploration team has significantly added to the Mineral Resource inventory (see Mineral Reserves and Mineral Resources) on the LDI Mine Property (“the Property”). Recent highlights include:

  • Extension of the Offset Zone deposit to depth and along strike in support of the new, lower-cost sub-level shrinkage mining method;
  • The delineation of a new style of palladium mineralization in a breccia pipe referred to as the B2 Zone, from which initial production is scheduled to occur in the second half of 2017;
  • The delineation of higher-grade (i.e., higher grade than most of the known near surface mineralization) palladium mineralization in the Sheriff North-Powerline zone, with initial production from the new Sheriff pit expected to occur in Q1 2018; and
  • The intersection of Offset Zone-style palladium mineralization on the south side of the recently defined Camp Lake fault, representing an exciting new exploration target along the same north-south striking feeder structure that is believed to have controlled the emplacement of most of the highest-grade palladium mineralization identified on the Property.

Despite over 50 years of base metal and PGE exploration on the Property, recent geological insights into the primary processes responsible for the observed palladium enrichment have identified a number of new exploration targets. Recent and future exploration success on the Property will be supported by:

  • Greatly improved 3D geological and structural models;
  • Applying innovative geophysical and geochemical exploration methods; and
  • Optimizing the value of the historical knowledge base.

As an established PGE producer with a clearly defined strategy for growth, NAP is well positioned to convert exploration success into production and cash flow on an accelerated timeline.

palladium-mineralization-zones

Surface projection of the principal zones of palladium mineralization on the Mine block intrusion, Lac des Iles intrusive complex. Surface geology highlights the adherence of palladium mineralization with late pulses of intrusive breccia and vari-textured gabbro, particularly along fault contacts with older, unmineralized units such as equigranular gabbro.

Longitudinal-projection

Longitudinal projection of the Offset and Roby zones, looking west. Developed and planned stopes in the Offset Zone are shown in green. Ramp development has recently reached a depth of 1,000 metres below surface. A majority of current production is being sourced from the Central Offset Domain between the 765 metre and 925 metre levels. Exploration is focused below the 1065 level, at the top of the Upper Offset Zone (southeast extension) and south of the Camp Lake fault.

Greenfields Exploration

Within 50km of the Lac des Iles (LDI) Mine is NAP's Greenfields properties (Greenfields). Greenfields comprises over 43,000 hectares of land covering several discrete mafic to ultramafic intrusive bodies, all believed to be related to the same magmatic event that formed the LDI deposits some 2.68 billion years ago. Discovery of new platinum group element (PGE) resources, stemming from a sustained Greenfields exploration, remains a strategic priority for the Company. NAPs advanced understanding of the controls on PGE mineralization at LDI can now be translated into value-creative discoveries of palladium-rich magmatic sulfide deposits on its attractive Greenfields property portfolio.

Green Field Exploration location

Location of the Companys Greenfields exploration properties (black outline polygons) with respect to the Lac des Iles Mine Property (LDI). The background image is a colour gradient total magnetic intensity map based principally on government airborne magnetic survey data. The grid coordinates reflect the NAD 83 datum and the UTM Zone 16N projection.

Shebandowan Joint Venture Property

NAP retains a 50% interest in the Shebandowan nickel-copper-PGE property with its partner, Vale Canada Ltd. The Shebandowan Mine was in semi-continuous production between 1972 and 1998 and shipped nickel concentrate to Inco Ltd. smelters in Thompson & Sudbury. The property is located 90 km west of Thunder Bay and includes the past producing Shebandowan nickel mine and the Shebandowan West nickel deposit.

Emerald Lake Property

LDIM holds a 100% interest in the Emerald Lake copper-PGE exploration property, located ~50 km east of Sudbury, Ontario. The Emerald Lake Property was staked in late 2014 and consists of 3 mineral claims comprising 496 hectares. These mineral claims are located near the historic Rathbun Lake PGE-Cu-Ni occurrence; semi-massive Cu- and PGE-rich sulfide mineralization within one of many Paleoproterozoic Nipigon mafic intrusions occurring in the region. The Nipigon intrusions are known to host magmatic Cu-Ni-PGE mineralization including one intrusion, located to the west of Sudbury that hosts the currently inactive Shakespeare Cu-Ni-PGE Mine.