Just two months after debuting on the ASX, Albion Resources (ASX: ALB) has reported encouraging news after a site visit to its Lennard Shelf project in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.
Visible galena (the principal ore of lead) and hydrozincite (a white mineral containing zinc) were discovered 350m north of a historical drill hole, which returned 4.6m at 5% zinc and 30.5% lead from 54m down hole.
In addition, the site visit team identified exposed mineralisation of more than 500m in length at the Prices Hill prospect.
The company said that both zinc and lead were also confirmed at three targets — Devious, Extreme and Chance — all of which “remain inadequately drill tested by past explorers”.
Drilling plans have been approved by the Western Australian Government and that work will begin after heritage agreements have been finalised and surveys conducted.
This work will include an anthropological survey, and Albion staff met during the site visit with the traditional local landowners, the Gooniyandi Aboriginal Corporation.
WA project is Mississippi type deposit
Albion’s zinc-lead Lennard Shelf project is located in the Mississippi Valley-type (MVT) province about 30km southeast of Fitzroy Crossing.
MVT lead-zinc deposits are found throughout the world but the largest occur in North America. The ores consist mainly of sphalerite, galena and iron sulphides — and they frequently contain silver.
MVT projects are sought after by exploration companies.
Albion has noted that previous explorers at Lennard Shelf have reported rock chips up to 40% zinc.
This area has also hosted significant historic mines, Pillara and Cadjebut.
Albion’s ground covers 393sq km and the company has so far defined trending structures which are interpreted to be the control of the zinc-lead mineralisation.
While Albion only listed on 30 April after raising more than $5 million through an initial public offering, the Lennard Shelf has a considerable history.
Long history of zinc-lead exploration, mining
It was first explored by BHP (ASX: BHP) from 1974 and 10 years later Cadjebut was discovered, with that deposit coming into production in 1988 and closing in 1998.
Several other discoveries were made, and in 1994 the former Western Metals bought the project from BHP and was in production between 1997 and 2003, but the new owner went into receivership following a dramatic collapse in zinc and lead prices.
Lennard Shelf was then bought by the Canadian major, Teck Cominco.
In 2021, it is a very different story for zinc with this week China announcing it was releasing zinc (along with copper and aluminium) from its strategic reserve in an effort to bring down the prices of those metals.