26/05/2021 - 12:06

Parks Reef drilling continues to elevate Podium

26/05/2021 - 12:06

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Hot WA mid-west precious metals explorer Podium Minerals is on track to post an updated shallow resource next month for its promising Parks Reef project south-west of Meekatharra after drilling confirmed continuity of platinum group metal mineralisation over a 15km targeted strike length. The company, whose share price has climbed more than 500 per cent since the start of 2021, is also stepping up deeper resource drilling.

Drilling at Podium Minerals’ Parks Reef PGE project in WA’s mid-west continues to excite the market. Credit: File

Hot WA mid-west precious metals explorer Podium Minerals is on track to post an updated shallow resource next month for its promising Parks Reef project south-west of Meekatharra after drilling confirmed continuity of platinum group metal mineralisation over a 15km targeted strike length. The company, whose share price has climbed more than 500 per cent since the start of 2021, is also stepping up deeper resource drilling.

Podium had more than A$6 million in the bank at the end of March this year and continues to explore aggressively in pursuit of its goals to build a significant mineable resource at Parks Reef and ultimately become “Australia’s first platinum group metal producer”.

Slow laboratory assay turnaround times are checking Podium’s speed, as they are many others in the exploration business at the moment. However, the company says 3E platinum group metal, or “PGM” plus gold assays received from its stage six drilling are moving it toward its target of more than doubling the current resource at Parks Reef.

Podium is due to update the previous inferred resource of 1.39 million ounces of 3E PGM, including base metal credits, and 53,900 tonnes of copper next month. The current resource is from drilling within 100m of the surface over 8.5km of the identified 15km mineralised strike length at Parks Reef.

Podium has since drilled 6,700m over a further 5.4km of the strike horizon, including more drilling down to 200m depth and beyond. What it calls its stage seven RC drilling to close up the hole spacing down to 200m over the full 15km of strike is underway and in fact the company has decided to add about 4,000m of infill drilling to that program including 12 holes to test 2.4km of the western part of Parks Reef.

Earlier this month Podium announced it had secured A$150,000 of WA Government Exploration Incentive Scheme, “EIS” co-funding to drill two 750m-deep diamond holes to test for continuity of the large surface reef system at depth. The deep holes are also designed to test for parallel PGM-bearing chromitites in hanging wall mafic stratigraphy, with the program expecting to include a third hole in the initial deep drilling program.

The next Podium mineral resource “upgrade” to 100m depth is due for release next month, with the company aiming to improve the resource certainty as well as the quantum.

It said earlier this month its 2021 drilling focus was on increasing the resource confidence and defining extensions to higher grade, thicker mineralised zones so it can “further build out a materially significant resource base … to support a scoping study”.

Latest results from the drilling to show continuity of the main PGM horizon over Parks Reef’s 15km line of strike include 21m grading 1.34 grams per tonne 3E PGM from 65m depth, 4m at 1.73 g/t from 72m, 5m at 1.49 g/t from 43m and 14m at 1.47 g/t from 58m. These and other results in the central and central-east sectors of Parks Reef “demonstrate strong continuity of the main PGM Horizon … although there are instances where the reef has been disrupted by post-mineralisation felsic dykes which occur more commonly in the central and central-east sectors of the reef”.

The company says samples will be re-assayed for rhodium, iridium and base metals.

Assays are also pending for four new holes drilled to test the continuity of high-grade 5E PGM – including rhodium and iridium – picked up in earlier centra-east sector drilling. The earlier holes returned a suite of impressive hits including 7m grading 5.75 g/t 3E PGM plus 0.32 g/t rhodium and 0.14 g/t iridium from 89m depth and 11m of 1.25 g/t 3E PGM with 0.08 g/t Rh and 0.03 g/t Ir from 100m.

Adding to the expansiveness of current activity, Podium has reported drilling on an interpreted “displaced” western extension to Parks Reef, based on magnetic data, intersected similar Parks Reef magmatic stratigraphy and also hit 20m grading 1.19 g/t 3E PGM from only 12m depth. The “robust and possibly supergene enriched” section that wasn’t anticipated in planning will now be a target for follow-up work.

The six holes drilled on the 1.2km western extension all reportedly intersected PGM mineralisation in the Parks Reef reef system.

Podium has a conceptual target of up to 5.8 million ounces of 3E PGM in the top 200m at Parks Reef and this year’s circa-15,000m of fully-funded drilling on the known 15km strike zone should go a long way towards validating the quality of its aim.

A current US$2,000 per ounce price on the 3E PGM metal split Podium is looking to include in upcoming project studies and Chalice Gold’s fabulous Julimar discovery near Perth have increased the spotlight on WA’s PGE potential and the next substantial find.

The market is evidently backing Podium to finish what it has started at Parks Reef with the company’s market value surging towards A$200 million at what is still an early stage of development at its flagship project.

 

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@businessnews.com.au

 

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