North American Palladium Ltd. is a Canadian precious metals company focused on the production of palladium and gold. The company’s flagship mine, the Lac des Iles (LDI), is one of North America’s two primary palladium producers. The company announced yesterday that it has restarted palladium production at this mine.

On an annualized basis, North American Palladium expects to produce 140,000 ounces of palladium per year. The company’s president and CEO, William J. Biggar, said, “As Canada’s only primary palladium producer, we are extremely pleased to be back in operation and generating cash flow at LDI. The restart is well timed to capitalize on the recent increase in the price of palladium, which now exceeds $250 per ounce.” Prices have risen recently due to increased vehicle sales globally, led by increases in emerging markets such as China.

Ore production from the Roby Underground zone at the LDI mine is currently about 2,000 tons per day and is expected to increase to its target rate of 2,600 tons per day by May 1. The company also announced the renewal of its smelting contract with Xstrata Nickel, a subsidiary of the global mining giant Xstrata. The terms of the contract are believed to be similar to the previous contract. A new feature to the contract does entitle the company to receive advance payments of 70 percent within 60 days following the month of concentrate delivery.

North American Palladium’s CEO added, “We…look forward to a productive year ahead. With two operating mines and a number of development projects in our portfolio, North American Palladium is well positioned to grow its production profile.”