The mining exploration company New Age Metals released a notice on the progress of its River Valley Palladium Project on July 13, indicating that all of the required studies are underway to get permits for mineral exploration and mine development. The studies are examining archaeology, surface water quality, hydrology, and the aquatic and terrestrial environments. Harry Barr, Chairman and CEO of New Age Metals commented, “We are pleased with the progress to date on our environmental baseline work at River Valley. By being proactive at this early point in the Project lifecycle, we will be more confident in our ability to execute future permitting efforts more efficiently. We have been fortunate to collaborate with our local First Nations partners throughout these baseline programs, in order to ensure that we are operating responsibly and transparently through this important stage of the Project’s development.”
The release outlines the water quality sampling, shoreline habitat mapping, fish community and habitat surveys, and surveys completed in 2021 that incorporate Species at Risk in Ontario. A Stage 2 Archaeological Assessment was also completed. All these studies are being undertaken to advance the project in River Valley and acquire future permits.
Cody Hunt, Vice President, Business Development for New Age Metals (NAM), said, “In the first quarter of this year, March and April, we went out and raised just over $10 million. In April we announced the start of a pre-feasibility study for the River Valley Project, following up on another engineering study. This is a more detailed engineering study.” He added that there are four engineering companies, including Story Environmental out of Haileybury, and one laboratory out of Lakefield, working together on the pre-feasibility studies. “All this environmental baseline work requires data collection over a couple of seasons, all in an effort to support future permitting of the project – we wanted to get this process started sooner than later.”
The company is working with two First Nations – Temagami and Nipissing. “We have a Memorandum of Understanding with Temagami FN and have had that since 2014, updated in 2017… We are now also dealing with Nipissing FN. In the past we have had [NFN] members out with us at the site tour. We try to do an annual site tour but haven’t been able to with COVID. [NFN] has always been around and we’ve communicated with them. They have put their hand up, saying part of our project lies in their traditional territory… We have a pretty clear understanding of where we are both at in looking for an agreement. That will be a big step for the company and project… The challenge we had with Nipissing [First Nation] was that they weren’t recognized by the Ontario government as having a claim to the land in which our properties lie.” Hunt noted that negotiations are proceeding very well, and that there have been no archaeological discoveries so far. “The words they used are that it’s been cleared of anything of major archaeological significance.”