The Green Palladium project comprises 210 claims with a surface area of about 126 km2 and is located in the Pontiac regional county municipality of southwestern Quebec. Under the terms of an agreement with Gardin Inc., Sphinx acquired the project by issuing 4,461,536 common shares and granting a 2% Net Smelter Return Royalty (“NSR”). Sphinx has also agreed to spend a minimum of $750,000 in exploration expenditures over the next 3 years.
Nickel and copper were initially found in 1951 on the project. In 1958, a bulk sample was taken from a small test pit. It returned 1.2% Cu and 0.24% Ni but was not analyzed for palladium and platinum or other platinum group elements (“PGE”). In 1964, 2 shallow holes (35 m and 52 m deep respectively) were drilled under this test pit and nearby. They both returned sub-economic copper values. The 52 m deep hole revealed a 22.5 m intersection of chalcopyrite disseminations and stringers which is open at depth. PGEs were not analyzed. In 1973, an induced polarization (“IP”) survey was carried out on a 1.3 km2 grid that covered the test pit blasted in 1958. This survey revealed 5 IP anomalies, one of which measures 200 m by 100 m. This anomaly is situated adjacent to the test pit and the 2 historical drill holes. No further drilling was conducted on these IP anomalies. The project remained inactive until 2014. In the spring of 2014, 3 samples coming from the 1958 pit, were selected for analysis. These samples were hand samples of massive sulphide breccias (see photo below). The values obtained were 3.3 g/t, 2.3 g/t and 0.6 g/t Pd and 3.2%, 3.3% and 0.2% Cu respectively. Nickel graded between 0.2% and 0.1% while platinum and gold were present in trace amounts.
In 2015, Sphinx carried out IP, electromagnetic and magnetic ground surveys on the project that significantly improved the understanding of the geology and related mineralization. The surveys were followed by diamond drilling on priority geophysical targets outlined in the vicinity of the Pd-Cu-rich 1958 blasted test pit. A 9-hole program, totaling 962 m, was completed over a strike length of 720 m. As well, channel samples were taken from a new 20 m by 5 m trench cleared over the original showing. Drill hole assay results confirmed the extension of the stratabound PGE reef over a distance of 719 m and which is open in all directions. Regional compilation suggests an interpreted surface expression of the target horizon over an estimated 11 km. The mineralized reef, which returned 3.44 g/t Pd+Pt+Au over 40 cm at the main showing area, was intersected in 3 of the 9 drill holes. Drilling investigated the horizon to a maximum depth of 50 m. A 1.5 m-long surface channel sample, taken in a direction parallel to hole GP-15-01, returned a composite interval of 0.86 g/t Pd, 0.34 g/t Pt, 0.05 g/t Au and 0.40 % Cu from 1.50 to 3.00 metres.
This discovery occurs in a previously unrecognized layered igneous complex now named the “Obwondiag layered igneous complex”. Mineralization is hosted in an interpreted “reef” horizon of metamorphosed and sulphide – mineralized pyroxenite and melanogabbro. This horizon exhibits disseminated sulphides with local sulphide percentages high enough to produce net-textured sulphides. The sulphides are comprised primarily of pyrrhotite (iron sulphide) and chalcopyrite (copper sulphide). Mineralized breccias exhibiting magmatic textures with centimeter-scale rounded pyroxenite xenoliths contained in a massive sulphide constitute the stratigraphic top of the reef. There appears to be a strong correlation between the presence of chalcopyrite and high palladium values. The highest palladium, platinum and gold values are in the sulphide-poor basal section of the intersected reef.
Exploration results obtained to date are encouraging and must be put into the perspective that at producing PGE mines only two out of 3 drillholes show economic grades along the same reef. To better assess the full exploration potential of the Green Palladium PGE reef, Sphinx’s exploration team has designed a program for the next phase of exploration that consists of:
• an extensive regional gamma ray spectrometric and magnetic survey performed by a drone;
• a soil geochemical survey;
• a detailed surface mapping and prospecting program; and
• drilling of targets identified from the geophysical and geochemical surveys and prospecting results.
Exploration in the project area is low cost and benefits from excellent infrastructure and community support.