September 29, 2020, Rockport, Canada – New Age Metals Inc. (NAM) (TSX.V: NAM; OTCQB: NMTLF; FSE: P7J) (“NAM” or the “Company”) NAM is pleased to announce its Q4 2020 program for the River Valley Palladium Project near Sudbury, Ontario. The primary focus of the program is a Phase 1 of a multi-phase rhodium assay program designed to prove-up the world’s most valuable metal as a payable component of River Valley. Chairman & CEO Harry Barr stated; “We have seen the price of rhodium run from $6,050 an ounce to a high of $13,800 this year and the company plans to investigate the potential economic metal credit that rhodium offers at River Valley. We know the project contains rhodium as evidenced by its presence in our latest Mineral Resource Estimate. However, rhodium was not included as a payable metal in our 2019 Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA), due to insufficient number of assays and limited metallurgical recovery information. The Mineral Resource Estimation work completed to date shows over 25,000 ounces of rhodium in the Measured plus Indicated resource classification and an additional 20,000 ounces in the Inferred classification. The highest-grade rhodium assay is 0.873 g/t Rh for drill core from the Lismer North Ridge Zone. The first phase of the rhodium work will focus on the northern area of the Project, where initial production would potentially begin as determined in the 2019 PEA Study. This potential metal credit may be significant at current pricing and our objective is to complete sufficient re-assaying and metallurgy to prove that rhodium could provide up to 5% of the Project’s payable metal package”.
Rhodium (Rh), one of the six Platinum Group Metals, is a silver-white metallic element that is highly reflective and strongly resistant to corrosion. Rh’s primary use is in catalytic converters of automobiles, where it reduces the amount of nitrogen oxides (NOx) exhaust gases emitted into the atmosphere. In 2019, almost 90% of rhodium demand was from the auto-catalyst sector. Rh is a very special metal in terms of its performance in converting NOx into harmless gases, and will continue to be the metal of choice for the control of NOx.
Mined supply of Rh in 2019 was over 750,000oz and recycled supply was 315,000oz, resulting in a deficit of approximately 50,000oz. Rh supply is inelastic to demand for various reasons: Rh content in the earth’s crust is extremely rare, and the metal is mined as a by-product of platinum and palladium mining or nickel mining. There is no such thing as a primary Rh mine, and the major producers are all located in South Africa. South Africa produces over 85% of the global Rh supply annually, with majority of this supply being generated by the mining companies listed below (Rh production listed as a percentage of overall mining production):
- Sibanye Stillwater (2019 Rh production, 7% overall contributed 22% of revenue)
- Anglo Platinum (H12020 Rh production, 7.5% overall contributed 34% of revenue)
- Impala Platinum (H12020 Rh production, 6.5% overall contributed 25% of revenue)
Rhodium Assay Program
Rhodium (Rh), the world’s most valuable metal (US$ 12,000/oz as of September 28, 2020),
is present with palladium and platinum at the River Valley Deposit (Figure 1). However, the amount of existing Rh assays is relatively small and their spatial distribution limited, due to the high cost of assaying. The highest-grade rhodium assay is 0.873 g/t Rh for a core sample from the Lismer North Zone. Rhodium is included in the 2001, 2012, 2018 and 2019 Mineral Resource Estimates. Rhodium grades in the 2019 Mineral Resource Estimate (Table 1) are based on
Rh assay data for 7,471 drill core samples and 2,641 channel samples, for a total of 10,112 assays. Of these, 8,268 core and channel sample Rh assays records are for the Dana North Zone,
1,338 core and channel sample Rh assay records for the Dana South Zone, and 506 core sample assays for the Lismer Zones: there are no Rh assays available in the database for the Pardo, Pine, Banshee, Lismer Ridge, Varley, Azen, and Razor zones. Clearly, the Rh assay data distribution is highly concentrated at Dana North. Furthermore, the rhodium mineral hollingworthite (Rh, Pt, Pd) AsS has been identified during mineralogical and metallurgical testwork studies of drill core from Dana North and Dana South. Although included in the 2019 Mineral Resource Estimate for the River Valley Palladium deposit, Rh was excluded in the 2019 Preliminary Economic Assessment as payable metal in the Net Smelter Return estimates.
In addition, a relatively small amount of additional Rh assay data (337 analyses) are available for core samples analyzed during an academic research project and for surface grab samples (158) assayed during exploration programs. The highest grades were 0.372 g/t Rh for the core and 0.309 g/t Rh for the surface grab samples. However, these data cannot be used directly for Mineral Resource Estimation purposes.
The Rhodium Assay Program for Q4 2020 is to be based on re-assaying available drill core samples for Rh. The drill holes to be sampled will be carefully selected from representative drill cross-sections of priority zones, primarily Pine Zone and possibly Dana South and Lismer North. Samples from mineralized core intervals above the lower cut-off grade and adjacent material are to be submitted to an appropriate laboratory for PGM assay with enhanced detection limits.
In addition to Rh (and palladium platinum and gold), the minor PGM ruthenium (Ru) and iridium (Ir) will also be assayed. The Q4 2020 work will be Phase 1 of a multi-phase program. Pending results and progress, the follow-up phases of work will include more sampling and assaying and mineralogical and metallurgical testwork, in order to ultimately prove-up rhodium as a payable metal for the River Valley Project.
Figure 1. The mineralized zones and current pit constrained Mineral Resource Estimates of the River Valley Palladium Deposit near Sudbury, Ontario. Source: NAM press release dated August 8, 2019.
Additional Activities for Q4 2020
Additional activities planned for Q4 regarding River Valley include environmental baseline studies, archaeological assessments, and development of new exploration targets for field validation and testing in 2021. The environmental baseline studies will involve a second round of surface water quality sampling and flow measurement. Exploration targeting will continue to focus on footwall mineralization, though at the Dana South Zone in addition to the Pine Zone-T3 target. The interior of the River Valley Intrusion will also be re-evaluated for the possibility of MT and gravity surveys to aid development of targeting models for contact-type PGM deposits.
New Age Metals is a junior mineral exploration and development company focused on the discovery, exploration and development of green metal projects in North America. The Company has two divisions; a Platinum Group Metals division and a Lithium/Rare Element division. The PGM division includes the 100% owned River Valley Project, one of North America’s largest undeveloped Platinum Group Metals Projects, situated 100 km from Sudbury, Ontario as well as the Genesis PGM Project in Alaska. The Lithium division is the largest mineral claim holder in the Winnipeg River Pegmatite Field, where the Company is exploring for hard rock lithium and various rare elements such as tantalum and rubidium. Our philosophy is to be a project generator with the objective of optioning our projects with major and junior mining companies through to production. The Company is actively seeking an option/ joint venture partner for its road-accessible Genesis PGM project in Alaska and for our Lithium division in Manitoba.
About the River Valley Palladium Project
The details of the updated Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) and Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) were announced in the press release dated August 9, 2019 and are described on NAM’s website. The pit constrained Updated Mineral Resource Estimate formed the basis of the PEA. At a cut-off grade of 0.35 g/t PdEq, the Updated Mineral Resource Estimate contains 2.867 Moz PdEq in the Measured plus Indicated classifications and 1.059 Moz PdEq in the Inferred classification. The PEA is a preliminary report, but it demonstrates that there are potentially positive economics for a large-scale mining open pit operation, with 14 years of Palladium production. Refer to the NAM website (www.newagemetals.com) for details.
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The contents contained herein that relate to Exploration Results or Mineral Resources is based on information compiled, reviewed or prepared by Dr. Bill Stone, P.Geo., a consulting geoscientist for New Age Metals. Dr. Stone is the Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 and has reviewed and approved the technical content of this news release.
On behalf of the Board of Directors
Harry G. Barr
Chairman and CEO
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