Stillwater Critical Minerals (TSXV:PGE) recently reported an updated on its 2023 diamond drilling activities at its flagship Stillwater West Ni-PGE-Cu-Co + Au project in Montana. The focus of the 2023 drill campaign was to expand the NI 43-101-compliant resources, initially announced on January 25, 2023. This expansion was particularly concentrated on the recent high-grade discoveries at Chrome Mountain, located at the west end of the nine-kilometer-long resource area.
Michael Rowley, Stillwater President and CEO, commented in a press release: “We continue to advance new sulphide-rich discoveries at our flagship Stillwater West project as we apply geologic models from South Africa’s giant polymetallic nickel sulphide mines to similar geology at our Stillwater West project. Recent work is identifying additional styles of mineralization, and we look forward to expanding further on these exciting developments as they advance. Overall, the Stillwater district remains underexplored – and therefore wide open for significant expansion of known mineralization – despite having produced critical and strategic minerals such as nickel, copper, palladium, platinum and chrome for over a century. We look forward to reporting assay results and providing updated analysis as we work with our partners at Glencore PLC and the US Geological Survey to advance primary domestic supply of nine of the commodities identified as critical by the US Government. Additional news is expected from our Kluane and Drayton-Black Lake projects, carbon sequestration studies, and other initiatives including continued work on government funding channels.”
The company completed six drilling holes, totaling 2,310 meters, both within and outside the current resource area, specifically west and south of the DR-Hybrid deposit. This drilling is part of a planned multi-phase program. The campaign led to the discovery of multiple new mineralized zones, including the identification and expansion of the N series of sulphide-rich mineralized structures. These structures are parallel to high-grade nickel sulphide mineralization first discovered in previous drilling efforts.
The drilling in 2023 intersected the N2 and N3 mineralized zones parallel to the N1 zone, previously identified in CM2021-05. N1 showed significant results in previous analyses, yielding 13.2 meters grading 2.89% Recovered Nickel Equivalent. The N series structures are now understood to be part of a series of north-south trending structures crosscutting the layered sequence and Platreef-style mineralization of the Stillwater Igneous Complex.
Further, drilling confirmed nickel and copper sulphide mineralization in a large, previously untested geophysical anomaly, extending over 12 kilometers along strike. All core from this drilling campaign has been submitted for assay, with results expected in the coming weeks. This success demonstrates the effectiveness of the company’s updated exploration model.
The 2023 drilling campaign, the first to be funded by Glencore PLC’s strategic investment in June 2023, marks the first application of updated geological models incorporating similar geology from South Africa’s Platreef district. This initiative was led by Dr. Danie Grobler, who joined the team as Vice-President of Exploration in May 2022.
Looking ahead, drilling plans for 2024 aim to continue the expansion around known mineralization at existing resource areas, recent discoveries including the N series structures, and more broadly across the 32-kilometer-long project.
Additionally, Stillwater Critical Minerals’ President & CEO, Michael Rowley, will present at the upcoming Clean Energy and Precious Metals Virtual Investor Conference, followed by a Q&A session. The company will also display core from the 2023 drill season at the AMEBC Mineral Roundup event in Vancouver, BC.
On the government collaboration front, the company continues to work with Cornell University under a Department of Energy grant and with the US Geological Survey on other programs at Stillwater West. They are actively pursuing other US government initiatives for developing domestic supply of critical minerals.
In other developments, the company completed geological mapping, drone LiDAR, and imagery acquisition at its Kluane PGE-Ni-Cu project in Yukon, Canada. This field work was partially funded by a Yukon Mineral Exploration Program grant. The company is also exploring carbon capture opportunities at this site.
Finally, Heritage Mining continues to fulfill its obligations under the earn-in agreement for the Drayton-Black Lake gold project in Ontario, with results from recent drill campaigns pending and plans for further exploration in 2024. The project is located in a region with proven significant gold potential, adjacent to Treasury Metals’ Goliath Gold Complex project.