Drill hole CZ2021-01 on the Camp Zone (CZ) returned 63.7 metres of 0.92% nickel equivalent ("NiEq") from a depth of only 13.2 metres, equivalent to 2.46 g/t palladium equivalent ("PdEq"), with 0.47% Ni, 0.42 g/t Pd, 0.27% Cu and 0.04% Co, as well as significant Pt and Au values, within 367.6 metres of continuous mineralization at 0.31% NiEq (or 0.83 g/t PdEq). This extensive high-grade intercept exceeds the cut-off grade of the most recent resource estimate by nearly a factor of five.
Nickel, platinum, palladium, rhodium and cobalt are all classified as ‘critical minerals’ by both the US and Canadian governments. Securing domestic supply of these green metals is a mandate. While they are all vital to new and growing environmental technologies including batteries for electric vehicles and catalysts for fuel cells, they perhaps aren’t quite as familiar to investors as copper or gold. To put these exceptional intercepts into a different context, 63.7 meters of 0.92% NiEq is approximately equivalent to 130 meters of 1% copper at current spot prices. 367.6 meters of 0.27 NiEq would be roughly equal to 400 meters of 0.6% copper. These are exceptional intercepts.
Drill hole CM2021-01 at Chrome Mountain (CM) returned the longest mineralized interval ever recorded in the Stillwater district with 728 metres of continuous sulphide mineralization at 0.27% NiEq or 0.73 g/t PdEq, including intercepts therein at successively higher grades: 352.9 meters at 0.39% NiEq (or 1.04 g/t PdEq) with 0.52 g/t 3E (Pd, Pt and Au) and 0.17% Ni, and significant Cu and Co values; 159.2 meters at 0.48% NiEq (or 1.29 g/t PdEq) with 0.77 g/t 3E, 0.18% Ni, and significant Cu and Co values; 50.2 metres of 0.54% NiEq (or 1.45 g/t PdEq) at 1.0 g/t 3E, 0.19% Ni, and significant Cu and Co values; and shorter intervals of high-grade mineralization, including 7.2 metres at 1.33 g/t Pd, 0.93 g/t Pt and 0.24% Ni, and significant Au, Cu and Co values, at 1.02% NiEq (or 2.72 g/t PdEq). Again, this would be roughly equivalent to a 728 meter intercept of 0.6% copper, which is a truly spectacular hit.
Group Ten is currently awaiting assay results for the lowermost portion of CZ2021-01 and the additional 12 holes to be drilled in 2021, which are expected in early Q1 2022. Rhodium results for all holes are also pending which should be expected to further increase these reported grades.
Michael Rowley, President and CEO, stated, "These initial results from the first two holes of our 2021 resource expansion drilling campaign are the strongest evidence to date that we are able to target high-grade mineralized zones at Stillwater West, with significant wide intercepts reaching more than five times the cut-off grade used in our most recent resource estimate. This is clear evidence that our predictive geological model, using tools such as deep penetrating induced polarization geophysics, is accurately and effectively guiding us to drill broad zones of high-grade nickel-copper-cobalt-sulfide mineralization (battery metals) enriched in palladium, platinum, rhodium (platinum group elements), and gold. In addition to increasing the size and grade in our planned resource update, our ability to effectively target from known mineralization in a large magmatic system ensures incredibly low discovery costs as we advance the project.”
"Our work to date has demonstrated the exceptional size and potential of the mineralized system in the Lower Stillwater Complex. These results confirm and refine that understanding as Chrome Mountain drill hole CM2021-01 returned nearly three quarters of a kilometer of continuous mineralization at a location more than seven kilometers west of the HGR deposit in the Iron Mountain area, where drill hole IM2019-03 previously held the record for greatest thickness. Both areas have other very high grade intercepts in the drill results, as does the CZ deposit located between the two areas. All of this confirms our observation that the lower Stillwater Complex has an immense deposit of contained metal and is surprisingly under-explored despite its location in a known prolific and well-mineralized American mining district. Our systematic exploration approach has rapidly delineated five resource-stage deposits open to expansion in the nine-kilometer core of the Stillwater West project, and we will continue to focus on their expansion while also advancing earlier-stage targets that span the 32 kilometers of prospective magmatic stratigraphy that the property encompasses. We look forward to announcing the results of the remaining drill holes along with the results of our 2021 IP extension survey shortly as they become available."
The thickness values of the mineralized intercepts demonstrate the remarkable metal richness of the lower Stillwater Complex, with both drill holes reported here showing a thickness well in excess of 100 gram-meters ("g-m") palladium equivalent. CM2021-01 returned 530 g-m PdEq grade, a record value for the Stillwater Complex. This compares to 596 g-m gold equivalent, 954 g-m platinum equivalent or 199 %-metre nickel equivalent. Thickness values are an exploration tool used to compare the intensity of mineralization across different widths of mineralization. A thickness value of 10 grams Pd is equivalent to 1 g/t Pd over 10 meters or 10 g/t Pd over 1 meter and is considered economically significant. The adjacent J-M Reef deposit, currently being mined by Sibanye-Stillwater, has an average value of approximately 34 grams Pd and Pt1.2. Values in excess of 100 g-m PdEq are considered exceptional and highlight the strength of the mineralized system; values in excess of 250 g-m PdEq (or 281 g-m AuEq) are rare in the industry. To date, 31 drill holes grading greater than 50 g-m PdEq have been encountered at the Stillwater West project, including five with greater than 250 g-m PdEq.
Conclusion: The first two results from the 14 drill hole 2021 campaign impressively underline the huge potential of Stillwater West. Both results will expand the existing resource, not only in terms of tonnage, but also in terms of metal grades. In other words, higher metal grades will now be added to the size. Already in its first resource estimate, based in large part on inherited drill results, Group Ten documented 157 million tonnes at an average grade of 0.45% total nickel equivalent ("NiEq") at a NiEq cut-off grade of 0.20%. The next resource estimate is expected to be significantly larger and, in particular, the cut-off grades as a measure of the robustness of the project are expected to increase. Most importantly, recent drilling success demonstrates that high-grade mineralization can be reliably traced by IP measurements. This gives Group Ten the key to selectively increasing the resource at Stillwater West.
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