North American Palladium has increased reserves and resources by 24% at its Lac des Iles (LDI) mine in Ontario, Canada.

The company said the increase is above the January 2013 technical report estimates and that production and operating costs in the first two months of the year have been ahead of guidance.

The mine currently has total compliant reserves and resources estimated at 5.2 million ounces (Moz) of contained palladium. Of the total reserves, the underground reserve accounted for 9.2 million tonnes (Mt) at a diluted grade of 3.9g per tonne of palladium.

The company said the total reserve is 15Mt at a grade of 2.8g per tonne of palladium, which now includes salvage mining in the open pit and a portion of the low-grade stockpile on the surface.

"We will focus on continued operational improvements, lowering unit costs and further diamond drilling."

Total reserves have increased by 140,000oz of contained palladium to 1.3Moz, an increase of 12% compared with the previous technical report.

Total resources increased by 860,000oz of contained palladium to 3.9Moz, an increase of 28% compared with the previous technical report.

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The company said that when considering only the proven and probable reserves, the current life of mine has increased by one year to 2019, with yearly output peaking at more than 200,000 payable ounces and a total mined reserve of 1.1 million payable ounces. This represents an increase of about 34% from the 2013 technical report.

North American Palladium president and CEO Phil du Toit said the company’s operations are performing well to date and the fundamentals for the palladium market remain favorable.

"As we continue through 2014 we will focus on continued operational improvements, lowering unit costs and further diamond drilling to potentially convert our large mineral resource to reserves," du Toit said.

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