Chairman's Message - Spring/Summer 2019
On behalf of the management and directors, I am pleased to update you on the key milestones completed in 2018 and the goals and objectives for New Age Metals (NAM) for the balance of 2019.
This message will also comment on other key corporate goals and milestones including: Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA), our first economic study which is fully funded and was initiated in August 2018 on our River Valley Platinum Group Metal (PGM) Project. This message will outline our exploration and development plans for our River Valley PGM Project as well as the proposed plans for our 100% owned Alaskan Genesis PGM and Base Metal Project. We will review our plans for the exploration and development of our 8 Lithium and Rare Metals projects in Manitoba for 2019.
Due to improved metal prices for PGMs, more specifically Palladium and Rhodium along with projected favourable supply and demand statistics in the base metals (Nickel, Copper, Cobalt) sector, management believes that investor’s sentiment is beginning to change. Investors with interest in both the common shares of Junior companies with advanced stage projects like River Valley and others who would purchase the physical metal themselves are beginning to take notice of these changing economic indicators. The long-term consensus for the palladium, rhodium, cobalt, copper, nickel and lithium markets continues to forecast a physical metal deficit. PGM demand is increasing with the cause of this attributed to significant supply risks from declining South African production combined with a growing demand picture.
River Valley PGM Deposit, Sudbury, Ontario
River Valley is the largest undeveloped primary PGM resource in North America. During the next year the company’s exploration & development objectives are as follows:
- Complete the re-stated resource calculation (Q1 2019, completed);
- Complete the Projects first economic study, PEA (Q2 2019);
- Complete surface exploration on additional target areas based on recommendations of the updated 43-101 and the 2017/2018 geophysics (slated for Q3-Q4 2019);
- Arrange additional funding for continued development of the project (ongoing);
- Conduct a 5000-metre drill program focusing in the northern portion of the Project;
- Solicit a strategic partner to aid in further exploration and development of the Project. Potential major partners are waiting for the PEA results to complete additional due diligence on River Valley.
River Valley PGM Project PEA Underway
NAM commissioned both P&E Mining Consultants (P&E) and DRA Americas (DRA) to complete the Project’s first economic study, a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) in August 2018. The PEA will look at the River Valley resource as defined in our most recent 2019 Resource Update and design conceptual mining scenarios for open pit mining and specifically outline the projected mine life, metal production rates and processing routes for our River Valley Project. It will further consider capital and operating costs to be incurred to finally deliver a report that incorporates all of the above information into a financial model to provide total cash flow, pre-tax net present value (NPV) and pre-tax internal rate of return. Completion of the PEA is slated for the end of the second quarter of 2019.
2019 Mineral Resource Update
On January 9, 2019 NAM filed its latest Mineral Resource Estimate on the River Valley Project. The May 2018 Resource Estimate presented a global mineral inventory. The January 2019 Resource presents a pit constrained mineral resource that shows reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction. Figure 1 below shows a map of the Project with the corresponding resource numbers. The results of the updated Mineral Resource Estimate are tabulated in Table 1, page 3 (0.35 g/t PdEq open pit and 2.0 g.t PdEq underground cut-off). This 43-101 Technical Report is available on SEDAR.
Figure 1: Global resource of River Valley. Note: A 0.35 g/t cut-off grade was used as that was approximately the open pit cut-off of Canada’s only PGM producing mine, North American Palladium’s Lac des Iles. The current economic study is expected to use higher cut-off grades and will focus in the northern portion of the project.
Table 1 : Results from the amended 2019 NI 43-101 Mineral Resource Estimate.
- CIM definition standards were followed for the Mineral Resource Estimate.
- The 2018 Mineral Resource models used Ordinary Kriging grade estimation within a three-dimensional block model with mineralized zones defined by wireframed solids.
- A base cut-off grade of 0.35 g/t PdEq was used for reporting Mineral Resources in a constrained pit and 2.00 g/t PdEq was used for reporting the Mineral Resources under the pit.
- Palladium Equivalent (PdEq) calculated using (US$): $950/oz Pd, $950/oz Pt, $1,275/oz Au, $1500/oz Rh, $2.75/lb Cu, $5.25/lb Ni, $36/lb Co.
- Numbers may not add exactly due to rounding.
- Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have economic viability
- The Inferred Mineral Resource in this estimate has a lower level of confidence than that applied to an Indicated Mineral Resource and must not be converted to a Mineral Reserve. It is reasonably expected that the majority of the Inferred Mineral Resource could be upgraded to an Indicated Mineral Resource with continued exploration.
Qualified Person Statement
The resource above is the result of a new 2019 NI 43-101 calculation, which was completed January 2019 by WSP Canada Inc. (WSP) under the supervision of Todd McCracken, P. Geo.
Platinum Group Metal Applications
We are encouraged about the economics surrounding PGMs as analysts continue to see ongoing deficits being forecasted in both Platinum and Palladium. The automotive industry will drive increases in demand for palladium and platinum due to the ever-increasing loadings of these precious metals in gasoline and diesel vehicles. The use of auto catalysts is mainstream in developed countries but their need has recently been mandated by more stringent regulations surrounding emissions in China, India and Brazil. Both Platinum and Palladium, outside of their extensive uses in catalytic converters which convert harmful gasses from hydrocarbon emissions into less harmful substances in vehicles. PGM’s, like gold and silver are precious metals and are therefore also considered a store of value.
Exploration Plans for Lithium Division 2019
The Company has eight pegmatite hosted Lithium Projects in the Winnipeg River Pegmatite Field, located in SE Manitoba. In 2018 NAM conducted surface exploration programs on our Lithman East, Lithman North, Lithium One and Lithium Two projects. The programs consisted of reviewing, characterising and sampling all of the known surface pegmatites. Samples were taken from the Eagle and FD5 pegmatites on Lithium Two and returned results of up to 3.8% Li2O. On Lithium One, samples were taken from the known Silverleaf and Annie pegmatites and not only returned significant Li20 assays of up to 4.1% but heightened levels of Rubidium Oxide (Rb2O).
In 2019, the Company plans to drill on both Lithium One and Lithium Two. Drill permits have been applied for and the company is awaiting approval from the province.
Figure 2: Map showing the 8 Manitoba, 100% owned Lithium Projects, which are under an Option/ Joint-Venture with Azincourt Energy (AAZ)
Genesis Platinum Group Metal, Base Metal Project, Alaska
The Genesis PGM Project is an under explored, highly prospective multi-prospect drill ready Pd-Pt-Ni-Cu property that warrants follow-up drilling, additional surface mapping, sampling to expand the known footprint of mineralization and to determine the ultimate size and grade of the layered mineralization outlined to date. NAM management is actively seeking an option/joint-venture partner for this road accessible PGM/Multiple Element Project using the Prospector Generator business model. The stable land status, ease of access and superb infrastructure make this project prospective for year-around exploration, development and production.
Figure 3: Map of the Genesis PGM/ Base Metal Project in Alaska.
In late January, our Chairman & CEO Harry Barr travelled to South Africa and attended two 1-2-1 style conferences with over 40 booked meetings with mine finance companies, major mine companies, institutions, stock brokers, and high net worth individuals. The trip was very successful and we are currently following up on several new opportunities that were generated from these meetings. In the meantime, the company is preparing for the upcoming PDAC 2019 (March 3 to 6). The company has secured a meeting place and is currently organizing meetings with parties interested in our PGM and Lithium divisions.
I would personally like to acknowledge our Directors, Management Team and Technical Team for their ongoing hard work and dedication to our Company. On behalf of our board of directors, I would like to thank you, our shareholders and interested parties for your continued interest and support.
Chairman & CEO
NEW AGE METALS INC.
Harry Barr, Chairman & CEO
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