Jangada Mines PLC is developing the Pedra Branca PGM Project in northeast Brazil, one of the largest undeveloped PGM projects outside Africa, where it aims to establish a low-cost, low-capex, open-pit mine and commence production in 2018. The company announced the results of a Scoping Study on 31 October 2017, which demonstrated the economic viability of a potential 1.1 Mt/y operation producing some 34,000 oz of palladium, platinum and gold.
From a PGM market viewpoint, demand is at an all-time high, driven by increasing uses and a lack of supply from traditional South African suppliers; notably, palladium prices are up 43% this year. However, in addition to the circa 1 Moz of PGM+Au, the project contains significant amounts of technology metals including nickel, cobalt and chromium as well as copper, which would essentially cover the costs for the PGM extraction. Importantly, circa 52% of its resource is contained within current mining licences and is considered a low development risk due to previous exploration work totalling +$35 million.
Looking ahead, news flow is expected to be steady as the project gathers momentum: a PFS is on track to be completed Q4 2017; additional metallurgical test work to confirm metal recovery rates is ongoing; and trial mining in early 2018 is planned.