Sudbury-area base metals project shows open-pit potential: New Age Metals' River Valley moves to economic assessment phase.

Author:McKinley, Karen

New Age Metals' River Valley project, near Sudbury, could be a historic mine site, according to its developers, so long as investor confidence and the markets remain strong enough to see it become a reality.

Investors, First Nations partners, geologists and curious members of the public were invited on Sept. 12 to take a site tour of the proposed open pit mine, located approximately 100 kilometres northeast of Sudbury.

Visitors were first taken to a core shack in the town of River Valley, 22 kilometres south of the site, to examine samples, and then brought to the 16,000-acre, 16-kilometre-long site itself, to examine outcroppings and drill hole locations. Company representatives also fielded questions on the history of the region, potential economic benefits and recent developments.

The tour was part of the North America Mining Expo, which was being held Sept. 12 and 13 at the Centennial Arena in the Sudbury community of Hanmer. New Age Metals gave two presentations and had an information booth at the expo as well.

The tour is an annual event designed to keep the public, government and stakeholders informed of developments, said Harry Barr, chairman and CEO of New Age Metals.

And in the past year, there have been a lot of developments.

"We've spent $45 million and completed a resource calculation, which made us the largest undeveloped primary platinum group metals project in North America," he said.

The project's value comes primarily from palladium, followed by platinum and gold, and rounded out by roughly six other valuable metals, including cobalt, copper and nickel, he explained.

New Age has hired two engineering companies to help complete an economic assessment on the project, slated to be completed by June of next year.

Barr said the site is broken into two sections: River Valley, which is approximately 12,000 acres, and the River Valley Extension, which is about 4,000 acres.

Barr said, overall, he is feeling confident about the project. The company had about 50 people on the site tour, and 200 people came to a presentation the night before. It is still a slow and steady process, but the numbers they are getting back in their cores and studies show a lot of promise, he added.

The project's current mineral resource shows a combined total, in the measured and indicated categories, of 4.6 million ounces of palladium equivalent.

Due to the deposit being classified as mid-grade, getting it into production has been a challenge, until...

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