Today, the majority of the world’s platinum comes from South Africa, while Canada is the fourth-largest producer. It put out 9,000 kilograms of platinum last year — that’s just 5 percent of the world’s total output, but a significant increase from the 7,600 kilograms mined in the country in 2015.
Most platinum mined in Canada is a by-product of nickel mining, and according to Johnson Matthey, the majority of the mines in the country that produce platinum are in Central Ontario’s Sudbury Basin. That said, platinum is also produced at Quebec’s Raglan nickel mine and at the Lac des Iles mine in Western Ontario. The former is owned by Glencore (LSE:GLEN), while the latter is owned by North American Palladium (TSX:PDL).
While those major miners are key platinum producers in Canada, there are also smaller companies that are exploring and developing platinum-focused projects in the country. Here’s a look at four of them.
New Age Metals (TSX:NAM)
New Age Metals is focused on the exploration and development of its River Valley PGMs project, one of the largest primary PGMs assets in Canada. Located in Ontario’s Sudbury Basin, River Valley has a measured and indicated resource of 91 million tonnes, including 0.22 grams per tonne platinum at a cut off of 0.8 grams per tonne palladium equivalent.
The company’s most recent news on River Valley came earlier this month, when it announced that its 2017 exploration focus at the project will be on drilling PGMs targets generated from previous exploration data and from new data from geophysical surveys.
Transition Metals (TSXV:XTM)
Project generator Transition Metals holds interests in a number of different exploration projects in Canada, but its main platinum assets are the Sunday Lake nickel–copper-PGMs project and the Aer-Kidd nickel-copper-PGMs project. Both are located in Ontario.
Sunday Lake and Aer-Kidd are also both projects that Transition Metals is working on with other companies. Sunday Lake is a joint venture with Impala Platinum (JSE:IMP), and the companies discovered a new PGMs-enriched intrusion there last month. Transition Metals is working with privately owned Sudbury Platinum on Aer-Kidd, and they resumed drilling activities there in June 2016. Sudbury Platinum was founded as a subsidiary of Transition Metals.
Wallbridge Mining Company (TSX:WM)
Wallbridge Mining is focused on the acquisition, discovery and development of gold, copper, nickel and PGMs projects. Most recently, the company completed a prefeasibility study for its Fenelon gold mine in Quebec, but it also plans to complete work at its Ontario-based Parkin properties this year. The plan is to follow up on high-grade nickel, copper and PGMs mineralization intersected in 2016.
Under a September 2015 agreement, major PGMs producer Lonmin (LSE:LMI) may earn up to a 50-percent interest in the Parkin properties by funding aggregate payments and exploration expenditures of C$11.083 million over four years. Lonmin can then earn up to an additional 15 percent in each Parkin property by funding them through to a feasibility study.
Wellgreen Platinum (TSX:WG)
Wellgreen Platinum is currently advancing its Yukon-based Wellgreen PGMs and nickel project toward production. According to a 2015 preliminary economic assessment, the project is envisioned as a conventional open-pit operation with selective higher-grade underground mining. Annually it is expected to produce 208,880 ounces of platinum, palladium and gold, as well as 73 million pounds of nickel and 55 million pounds of copper, over the first 16 years of operation.
In February, the company completed a metallurgical testwork program. It expects results to be available by the end of the first quarter.
This is an updated version of an article originally published by the Investing News Network on August 6, 2013.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: Wallbridge Mining Company is a client of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.