Very rare mineral sought in central Pontiac

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Allyson Beauregard

PONTIAC / BRYSON –
A Montreal-based mineral enterprise, Sphinx Resources Ltd., recently acquired exploitation rights for the Green Palladium Project in

Allyson Beauregard

PONTIAC / BRYSON –
A Montreal-based mineral enterprise, Sphinx Resources Ltd., recently acquired exploitation rights for the Green Palladium Project in
the Pontiac; the Project encompasses Bryson, southern Ile-du-Grand-Calumet, and Portage-du-Fort. Sphinx presented their plans for the new mining project at Rafter’s Sports Bar in Bryson, January 21, looking to attract local investors.
If the project is financed, the company hopes to find a sufficient quantity of Palladium to justify its exploitation; Sphinx says it will spend about $750,000 in exploration over the next three years. “The amount spent depends on results. If the results are promising, we may spend more, but
if they are disappointing,
the amount may be
less,” explained Normand Chantigny, President of Sphinx.
Palladium, used to reduce vehicle emissions, is a rare mineral in high demand; it is valued at about $800 per ounce. Nickel and copper are also of interest to the company. “We have found the three minerals on the Project, but Palladium is our main
interest because of its value,” said Chantigny.
Nickel and copper were initially found on the Project in 1951. In 1958, a bulk sample was taken from a small test pit, which showed amounts of copper (1.2%) and nickel (0.24%); at the time, the sample was not analyzed for palladium or platinum. The Project remained mostly inactive until 2014 when three
samples from the 1958
survey site were chosen for analytical purposes; traces of palladium, nickel, and copper were found.
According to Chantigny, it typically takes about 10 years before a mine becomes operational. “It can be shorter or longer depending on certain
factors such as the size
of the operation, the
technology used, obtaining permits, the availability of infrastructure, etc.,” he explained.
Jobs
The operation could
create jobs in the Pontiac. “During the exploration and feasibility phases,
we will need engineers, geologists, and people drilling and sampling. If the operation reaches the
construction phase, where the mine would be built, contractors, electricians, etc. will be needed,” said Chantigny. Additional jobs could also be created should the mine reach the operation phase, but these positions would require extensive training. “Mining creates good jobs for many years,” he concluded.