Junior explorer Auroch Minerals has found high-grade zinc just from rock chip sampling at its Bonaventura project in South Australia.

The company (ASX:AOU) only recently acquired the project and has now dug up zinc grading up to 28 per cent.

Anything over 10 per cent is generally considered high-grade for zinc.

The news sent shares up over 11 per cent to 10c in early Friday trade.

Auroch was previously focused on battery metals such as cobalt, but in March picked up two new South Australian zinc projects after it received disappointing cobalt and copper results from the final two holes drilled at its Tisová project in the Czech Republic.

Its share price has tumbled from a high of 30.5c in November last year to a low of 8.3c in April this year. The share price was trading at 9.9c at 11.30am AEST.

AOU shares over the past six months.
AOU shares over the past six months.

Time for zinc to shine

The outlook for zinc is bullish following the closure of a number of mines in Australia and Ireland and the cutting of production at others.

The metal, which is used to galvanise steel, is also making its way into the well-hyped battery metals space.

In mid-2017, researchers from the University of Sydney came up with a process to make a zinc air battery.

Experts say it is not quite as efficient as lithium, but it is cheaper.

The high-grade zinc at the Bonaventura project was found along with lead copper and silver mineralisation at the Grainger target.

The project contains several historic artisanal mines for zinc, lead, copper, gold and silver that were worked at various times up to the 1920s. But it hasn’t had any modern-day exploration, according to Auroch.

The company also found high-grade gold of up to 33.3 grams per tonne at the Kohinoor target.

Auroch now plans to undertake an aggressive exploration campaign and is aiming to be drilling in the third quarter this year.

Stockhead is seeking comment from Auroch.