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Impala Contributes to research and in-field support in Northwestern Ontario mineral exploration

Nov 16, 2021

By Kevin Vincent
Impala Canada announced in 2021 that it invested $375,000 to help establish a new industrial re-search chair in mineral exploration at Lakehead University. The investment, announced in early 2021, acted as a catalyst to secure additional funding from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and Lakehead University for a total commitment of $2.15 million.
The funds are designed to advance research out-comes and strategic goals through the Lakehead Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Mining & Exploration.

Peter Pic
Dr. Peter Hollings, the current chair of Lakehead University’s Department of Geology, was named the new NOHFC Industrial Research Chair in Mineral Exploration.

“Exploration is the lifeline of the mining industry, and finding new, economically viable mineral de-posits opens the door to generations of jobs, in-vestment and community development opportunities,” said Tim Hill, Chief Executive Officer, Impala Canada.
“We are proud to co-invest in this industrial research chair and partner in the world-class research led by Dr. Peter Hollings at Lakehead University.”

The Impala Canada contribution goes beyond the financial investment. To support the research into the metallogenesis of Nickel-Copper-Platinum Group Met-al deposits and prospects in the Thunder Bay area, the company’s geology team will work collaboratively with the researchers and provide in-field support. Dr. Hollings and his team will have unparalleled ac-cess to the geological database at Impala Canada’s Lac Des Iles (LDI) Mine and regional exploration properties, a database that is several orders of magnitude greater than most academic-based geoscientific projects.

The LDI Mine and regional exploration projects will be-come in-field research hubs for faculty, graduates and undergraduates in their quest to better understand the magmatic system that gave rise to the palladium de-posits at LDI and other prospects in the region. Lac des Iles is a ‘one-of-a-kind’ deposit that is now a mine that has been operating for over 25 years and today is one of the largest and safest underground mines in Canada.

A mine that attracted a $1 Billion investment from Implats, one of the world’s foremost producers of plati num group metals. And a mine that is one of only two primary palladium producers in the world; a metal that contributes to a cleaner global environment.
The funding partners share the same vision: to unlock mineral resources with the same potential as LDI, becoming major operations in the Thunder Bay mining district, responsibly mining nickel, copper and platinum group metals – essential for the world’s transition to a green energy future.

Helping to train the next generation of graduate students to work on mineral deposit studies

“Investing in job creation and research and development at Lakehead University will help drive new solutions and support our government’s commitment to   grow the province’s mineral exploration and prospecting industry,” said Greg Rickford, Ontario’s Minister Northern Development and Mines. “Through this project, we have the potential to attract new in-vestments into the region and drive more economic opportunities here in Northwestern Ontario.” State-of-the-art analytical equipment located at Lake-head University will help researchers develop an enhanced understanding of the geology and genesis of mineralization, which can be used to guide further exploration and development and enhance exploration efficiency by reducing the time and capital costs required in the discovery of mineral resources.

“Through this research project, Lakehead will train the next generation of graduate students to work on mineral deposit studies. Students who are highly trained geoscientists are in great demand among the mineral exploration industry,” added Moira McPherson, President & Vice-Chancellor, Lakehead University. “We know we can contribute to the growth and opportunities in the mining sector and see those opportunities filled by highly skilled graduates from our University.”

This five-year NOHFC Industrial Research Chair in Mineral Exploration will lead to additional collaborations with Impala Canada, and will help generate new partnerships with other companies that are actively exploring new ventures in Northern Ontario. “We have great confidence in this project’s success. And in turn, we commit to rapidly implementing the results into our regional exploration and operations. Our vision is significant new exploration activity and investment and perhaps even hundreds of new jobs in Northwestern Ontario for generations to come,” concluded Tim Hill, Impala Canada.

Impala Canada Limited was formed in December 2019 when North American Palladium was acquired by Impala Platinum Holdings Limited (the Implats Group), an integrated global platinum group metal producer. Implats was attracted by the company’s focus on palladium, its reliable growth potential, its highly engaged team and the revenue-generating potential of its Lac des Iles Mine.

The Lac des Iles Mine, a palladium operation with more than 25 years of production northwest of Thunder Bay, employs over 700 workers and features a unique, world-class ore body and modern infrastructure, including both underground and surface mine operations. The mine is also noted for its advanced underground methodologies and significant exploration portfolio. LDI is expanding production to become one of Canada’s largest, lowest-cost and safest under-ground mines, producing a metal that contributes to a cleaner global environment.

Impala Canada Limited was formed on December 13 2019, when North American Palladium was acquired by Impala Platinum Holdings Limited (the Implats Group), an integrated global platinum group metal (PGM) producer.

Implats is one of the world’s foremost producers of PGMs. It is structured around six main operations, including Impala, Zimplats, Marula, Mimosa, Two Rivers and Impala Canada and has its headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa. Implats’ operations are located on the Bushveld Complex in South Africa and the Great Dyke in Zimbabwe, the two most significant PGM-bearing ore bodies in the world, as well as the Canadian Shield in North America. The company’s refineries operations are based in Springs, Ekurhuleni, South Africa.

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