Tin-focused explorer TNT Mines (ASX: TIN) has made moves to acquire US company Metals of America, which owns the high-grade Pelley Ridge zinc project in North America.
The companies have signed a four-month exclusivity agreement, during which time TNT will complete legal and technical due diligence on the advanced exploration target prior to acquiring 100% of the issued capital in Metals of America.
Pelley Ridge is part-owned by former Battery Minerals (ASX:BAT) managing director and founder Cherie Leeden who has a proven track record of being a “mine finder”.
As part of the agreement, Ms Leeden will be retained as technical adviser for TNT on assets including Pelley Ridge, and will lead the company’s project generation strategy which targets undervalued and advanced mining assets in North America.
TNT chairman Brett Mitchell said the acquisition will complement the company’s portfolio of Tasmanian tin projects.
“Securing and developing base metals, precious or strategic metal projects in tier‐1 mining jurisdictions in addition to our current assets is part of our strategy,” he said.
“Pelley Ridge fits this profile as it already contains a significant ore grade intercept.”
The Pelley Ridge zinc project – which sits around 200 kilometres west of Black Butte copper development owned by Sandfire Resources (ASX: SFR) – comprises the contiguous Pelly Ridge and Bromley mineral leases over 20 square kilometres of freehold ground in the northwest US state of Montana.
The target is drill‐ready and high grade, with mineralisation displaying affinities to a strata‐bound zinc-lead-silver, SEDEX‐type deposit.
The project is interpreted to lie in a similar tectonic and time‐stratigraphic setting to the world‐class historic Sullivan zinc deposit which contained more than 160 million tonnes grading 12% zinc and lead.
The rock type at Pelley Ridge is exposed over a massive surface area of more than 200,000sqkm and is present in western Montana, northern Idaho, north-western Washington and western Wyoming.
It also extends into Canada where the equivalent rocks are exposed in south-eastern British Columbia and south-western Alberta.
Pelley Ridge has been the focus of limited historical exploration activity, despite the discovery of “globally-significant” intercepts at Bromley such as 14.9 metres at 5.43% zinc from 71m, including 10.8m at 7.21% zinc.
Other historic drill holes have supported the presence of a strong zinc‐rich alteration event with widespread zinc anomalism of more than 0.25% and mineralised intercepts to 25m.
Assays have included 3.09% zinc from 25m, 16.77m at 3.11% zinc from 56.5m, and 29m at 2.70% zinc from 41.1m.
At mid-morning, shares in TNT Mines were trading 6.45% higher at $0.165.