Zinc One (TSX.V: Z OTC: ZZZOF) has their eye on the prize right now, announcing an option payment of US$1,150,000 to acquire 100% interest in the Bongará and Charlotte Bongará Zinc-Oxide Projects in Peru. The Company’s marketing plan is chewing through some selling by former shareholders of the acquired company but even so, momentum is strong right now with all going as planned at headquarters.
Questions on the viability of oxide (versus a sulphide) zinc deposit have been met with a Zinc Report by Noël Masson & Pascal Briol that detail the different technologies that would work for zinc-oxide extraction. The report lists a set of the world’s similar productive deposits, and the different ways oxide ore can be processed. The technologies include Waelz Kiln, Rotary Hearth Furnace, Scanarc and Flame Reactor for the Thermic (high temp) options. Non-Thermic methods include Floatation, Direct H2SO4, and Direct Basic Leaching- all the technologies are industrially well known. In other words, where there’s grade, there’s (quite possibly) a way.
Horsehead (throughout USA), Zinc Nacional (Mexico), and Befesa (Germany) are on the list of mines that have used or are using thermic processes. The authors of the report were directly involved with the Shairmerden zinc-oxide deposit in Kazakhstan, where 200,000 tons per year of ore is produced using two rotary Waelz kilns. The mineralogy and general geochemistry of the zinc-oxide ore are similar to that of the mineralization at Bongará.
Zinc One will consider both pyro and hydrometallurgical (thermic and non-thermic) methods, as part of their PEA. The previous operator of the Bongará mine processed the zinc-oxide mineralization through a Waelz kiln, a method typically used to process electric-arc furnace dust (EAFD), residue from the steel industry. Zinc-oxide has a similar geochemistry as EAFD. One advantage of using Waelz-kiln processing technology is that the resulting residue is at times relatively easier to manage compared to tailings from leach technologies.
Zinc One already has fundamental pieces of the puzzle, now it’s execution time. Strong, confident team, high grade projects, good mining jurisdiction and cash in the till. Trading good volume lately, the company recently welcomed Dr. Bill Williams as Chief Operating Officer. Bill is the former CEO for Forrester Metals Inc., brought in late last year to advance the Forrester zinc assets, and an economic geologist with extensive South American experience. Jim Walchuck, President & CEO, leads the company as a mine building pro with over 37 years in the industry. Silvia Dedios joined the team in Peru as General Manager, and Roger Riquelme is their Vice President, Exploration. Zinc One has closed the deal to take over the high grade Bongará Zinc Mine and the Charlotte Bongará zinc-oxide project, and they have reorganized the team in conjunction with the acquisition. Having this established team on the ground in Peru is significant to the Company’s ambitious time table. They’ve just raised $10 million to focus on the development of their head-turning, high grade Latin American portfolio.
Diving head first into mine development, we-thinks there will be an abundance of news generated from an aggressive drill program and tight timeline to production. The Bongará Zinc Mine Project is a big property running 4km strike in the Yambrasbamba District. This district is within the Amazonas Department of Bongará Province in northeastern Peru, approximately 695km north-northwest of Lima with an elevation of 1,500-2,200m. The project is nestled within a zinc belt that runs the entire length of Peru, hosting a great many carbonate replacement projects.
Zinc One is gearing up to a drill program of roughly 300 shallow drill holes aimed to tighten up drill spacing in the zones of known mineralization and expand out on the periphery of certain zones as well. Exploration programs and drilling will provide more data for a resource estimate, and let’s hope historical grades run rampant. Zinc One intends to have the program completed by year-end and results depending, issue a resource estimate and accompanying NI 43-101 technical report soon thereafter. Management is quite confident this resource estimate can be increased and they have a combined solid track record to make this believable.
Bongará has historical measured and indicated resources totaling 1,007,796 tonnes at an incredible 21.61% Zinc. The material is sitting on surface, shallow and easy to mine. The value of this high grade material could probably accommodate an expensive underground operation (as we mentioned in a previous article on $Z.V, “Long Zinc One”). If they take this past the goal line, Bongará will have low costs as a surface operation, and you sense that the management team is pretty cranked up about the possibilities here. 24-36 months to production. Patience will be key as that is a lifetime to some retail investors!
The LME available zinc inventory is at the lowest level since 2007. There are very few zinc projects coming online globally. Please remember to do your own due diligence!
Commodity TV featured Zinc One recently here.
Zinc One Video Presentation: Video Introduction
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