North American Palladium Ltd. said May 29 that it has raised the reserves at its Lac des Iles palladium mine in northwestern Ontario by 18 million tonnes, to 38.5 million tonnes grading 2.25 g/t for 2.8 million ounces of contained palladium.
Underground reserves increased by 13 million tonnes, to 21.2 million tonnes at 3.09 g/t of palladium, while open pit reserves climbed by 11.1 million tonnes, to 12.1 million tonnes at 1.32 g/t of palladium.
The increase follows a review of all the mineralized zones and forms part of a feasibility study North American Palladium plans to publish in June.
The company noted that 5.5 million tonnes included in the estimate are from the definition of new reserves for the B2 and Sheriff pit zones as well as the Roby and Offset footwall zones.
President and CEO Jim Gallagher said the updated reserve provides the foundation for a planned major expansion of the Lac des Iles mine.
The new mine plan features a return to full-time mill operations, the expansion of underground bulk mining on the Offset Zone and a resumption of open pit mining operations.
These developments are expected to increase average annual palladium production and lower production costs.
North American Palladium announced in February that it expects to produce between 180,000 and 190,000 ounces of palladium this year.