Canada’s North American Palladium (NAP) has set a production target of 50,000t of gold in 2010 for its Sleeping Giant gold mine in the Abitibi region of north-western Quebec.

The gold mine, which commenced commercial production on 1 January 2010, poured its first gold on 6 October 2009.

The mine contains 70,000oz of proven and probable gold reserves and 82,000oz of measured and indicated gold resources.

NAP has commenced an exploration programme at the mine to increase the reserves and resources and extend the life of the mine.

NAP president and CEO William J Biggar said the company spent C$7.5m ($7.29m) to bring the gold mine back into production on schedule and on budget.

“We intend to apply the same discipline to the planned restart this year of our Lac des Iles palladium mine in north-western Ontario,” Biggar said.