Headlines are all over the place right now, for understandable reasons, and in mining, much of the focus recently has been on nickel.
But nickel is not the only metal for which Russia is a major source of supply – it is worth taking a look at what is also happening with palladium, given that it has also reached record prices in recent days.
Who Controls World Palladium? Number one on the list is South Africa, but Russia is a very important number two. Next come a patchwork of nations, including Australia, one of the safest mining jurisdictions.
And, coincidentally, one company in particular is about to acquire what is likely to be a massive palladium deposit from Munni Munni – Alien Metals.
Alien seems to have a knack for hitting commodity price waves. Not so long ago, silver and iron ore split coincidentally, and markets sought out companies that had both. One of the few to do so is Alien, which has silver in Mexico and Australia, and iron ore in Hamersley in the Pilbara.
Work at Hamersley continues at a brisk pace, building on an existing resource of 10 million tonnes, and drilling is only restarting in Mexico after a covid-related hiatus.
But as we speak, it’s Munni Munni’s potential that really sounds most appetizing.
The new land at Munni Munni is contiguous to the licenses Alien already holds at Munni Munni North and Elizabeth Hill, and creates a huge block of mineralization on which Managing Director Bill Brodie Good and his team can work.
“We have the majority of the trespassing on our land ownership,” says Brodie Good.
For the non-geologists among us, ‘intrusions’ are where molten rock makes its way into older ‘peasant’ rock, often bringing with it a rich wealth of metals and mineralization.
In other words, it’s likely to net a lot of goodies.
There are already a lot of offers.
On the one hand, Alien seeks to reopen the former high-grade silver mine at Elizabeth Hill. And there is also significant exploration potential for nickel, this other record-breaking metal.
But to date, at least in the new ground, work has largely focused on platinum group metals. At the time, a historic resource was built up for Munni Munni which amounted to 2.2 million ounces of platinum group elements, including rhodium and gold.
Once the final bureaucratic boxes have been ticked, the plan is to have this resource verified, make serious efforts to develop potential metallurgical processes and establish the upside exploration potential.
The company raised funds towards the end of last year, so the funding is in place to get to work.
Will the Munni Munni platinum group metals resource go above 2.2 million ounces? At this point, it’s an open question.
But what a time to ask.