Have you heard in the news about a rash of thefts of catalytic converters from vehicles, either in your neighbourhood or all over the country? The reason for that is simple, the value of the components inside these exhaust emission control devices. Catalytic converters contain Platinum, Palladium and Rhodium, amongst other materials, and these minerals are now some of the most expensive materials on the planet. Palladium is trading at over US$2,600/oz while Rhodium trades at an eye-popping US$26,000/oz.
Seems like there might be more demand than supply for something to be trading at these kinds of prices! That’s what makes the East Bull Palladium deposit of Canadian Palladium Resources Inc. (CSE: BULL | OTCQB: DCNNF) so exciting. On Tuesday, the company announced the latest drilling results from the East Bull property, located 90 km West of Sudbury, Ontario. Those results are summarized in the table below:
Notably, the company is still awaiting the Rhodium results and with the above pricing, Rhodium becomes the second most important contributor to Palladium equivalent (PdEq) at East Bull after Palladium itself. For context, generally speaking, palladium grades from 1.5 g/t to 5 g/t are considered medium grade and anything above 5 g/t is considered high grade (23.5 grams = 1 ounce).
An NI 43-101 compliant technical report from early 2019 shows a resource estimate of 11.1 M tonnes of ore at a grade of 1.46 g/t PdEq for a total of 523,000 ounces of Palladium at East Bull. Since then the company has reported 13 additional sets of drilling results extending the Valhalla zone from 1.5 kms to almost 3 kms today. Needless to say, an updated NI 43-101 would likely show a lot bigger number.
Additionally, the East Bull property benefits from close proximity to the city of Sudbury and is accessible by an all-weather road extending north from Highway 17 at Massey, Ontario. Sudbury is home to the fully integrated base and precious metal mining, processing, smelting and refining complexes of Vale Canada Limited and Glencore PLC. The availability of this infrastructure not too far away means Canadian Palladium could achieve initial production with lower initial CapEx, as they would only have to mine and crush rock on-site before shipping to Sudbury for processing.
As with most junior exploration companies, Canadian Palladium is in the raise cash/drill cycle meaning an investor has to be patient and watch the shares outstanding continue to drift higher. However, with the results the company is achieving and the steady increase in the underlying commodity prices, someone is likely to take notice of the East Bull Palladium development and validate management’s and shareholder’s belief that this could be a significant deposit.