North American Palladium announced that it has begun hoisting material through the new shaft at its Lac des Iles, or LDI, palladium mine in northern Ontario. The production, service and auxiliary hoists are now fully operational and the skipping system has been successfully tested with full loads of material. The complete commissioning of the shaft ore handling system, including the crusher and loading pocket, is on target for completion later in October, following which production is expected to be predominantly transitioned from ramp to shaft haulage. This will effectively mark the completion of the mine's Phase I expansion, enabling NAP to benefit from increased production at a reduced cash cost per ounce. The company maintains its target of increasing its underground mining production rate to over 3,000 tonnes per day from the underground Offset Zone during the fourth quarter, with plans to further increase the daily mining rate in 2014.