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Sudbury’s Wallbridge Mining Company started the next phase of exploration on its Parkin Properties in October, with funding from Lonmin. Wallbridge and Lonmin announced their agreement for the project in mid-September. Lonmin will be funding the project up to $11 million, with the potential to earn up to 50 per cent interest. This was an amendment to their existing North Range Joint Venture agreement (NRJV).
Lonmin is currently Wallbridge’s largest shareholder. The start date of Oct. 1 coincides with the beginning of Lonmin’s fiscal year.
Wallbridge initially worked with Impala Platinum Holdings Limited on the Parkin Properties. Josh Bailey, vice-president of exploration, said that in December, Wallbridge opted to purchase Implats’ 49.6 per cent interest in the joint venture by making cash payments over the next five years.
This shift allowed them to pursue the project with Lonmin, which will cover cash payments to Implats, including retroactively to June 2015 when the first payment was made.
The Parkin Properties are located on the northeast side of the Sudbury basin, on top of the historical Milnet Mine.
Traditionally known for its nickel production, Sudbury mining companies like Wallbridge have turned their focus to platinum rich deposits in recent years.
“They are incredibly high-value deposits,” said Bailey. These deposits draw the interest of shareholders like Implats and Lonmin, which are the second and third largest platinum producers in the world, respectively.
Preliminary drilling and electrical surveys indicate the presence of high-grade polymetallic nickel, copper, and platinum group metals (PGMs) over the properties’ 9.5-kilometre strike length.
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