Perth-based Zinc of Ireland (ASX: ZMI) has announced an increase in zinc resources for its Kildare project in Ireland, confirming the project’s development potential and paving the way for future increases through ongoing drilling.
Located 40km south-west of Dublin, resources at Kildare’s McGregor and Shamrock zones have been updated to comprise 743,000 tonnes of contained zinc and 116,000t of lead, based on a 5.5% zinc equivalent cut-off.
At the same cut-off, the average zinc grade was 8.2%, while lead averaged 1.3%.
The company released the upgraded estimate following completion of a major data acquisition program designed to materially increase the understanding of a highly prospective area within the greater Kildare project known as the Allenwood Graben.
A multi-disciplinary approach was adopted in the development of a comprehensive model of the Allenwood area, with geological, structural, alteration and geochemical information compiled from an extensive re-logging, sampling and re-analysis program.
Similar zinc-lead mineralisation is believed to exist elsewhere within the Graben and resource additions are being targeted.
Zinc of Ireland executive director Patrick Corr said the updated resource ticks “another important box” for the company’s wholly-owned project.
“This significant improvement to the Kildare resources greatly reduces the exploration risk threshold and provides a very strong foundation for our ongoing exploration which is seeking to discover new zones of mineralisation and expand known [zones],” he said.
Mr Corr said positive metallurgical test work in April further reinforced the project’s value, demonstrating the potential to produce high-quality, marketable zinc and lead concentrates.
“Both the zinc and lead concentrates showed only very low levels of potentially deleterious elements and as such, [could] attract premium payment from potential buyers,” he said.
Kildare zinc-lead project
Kildare is located within the Rathdowney Trend in what is believed to be the world’s most prospective zinc region where more than 25 deposits have been unearthed over 50 years of exploration for more than 20Mt of zinc metal.
The project comprises 240 square kilometres of contiguous prospecting licences near to the historically profitable Lisheen and Galmoy mines.
Kildare also boasts thick, high-grade zones of mineralisation over multiple flat-lying deposits amenable to efficient mining methods including intersections of 19.89m at 17.64% zinc and lead at McGregor, and 15.65m at 11.7% zinc and lead at Shamrock.
Zinc of Ireland is the first company to control the entire Kildare project, presenting it with a unique opportunity to capitalise on extensive data and historical work completed over the area.
Zinc of Ireland said a phase one exploration drilling campaign is ongoing in the Allenwood Graben with multiple rigs targeting areas which could host additional zones of mineralisation similar to McGregor and Shamrock.
A phase two campaign is being planned to focus on expanding the resource proximal to these two zones and following up priority areas from phase one.
Parallel activities such as environmental work and additional metallurgy will be conducted with a view to further de-risking Kildare and paving the way for fast-tracking formal economic and development studies.