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Inca Minerals is moving to expand its Cerro Rayas project in Peru after it uncovered high-grade zinc in recent sampling.

Channel sampling has delivered zinc grades of up to 33.91 per cent, along with lead grades of as high as 24.92 per cent and silver grades of up to 123 grams per tonne (g/t).

Anything above 10 per cent is considered high-grade for zinc and lead and above 50 g/t is considered high-grade for silver.

Inca (ASX:ICG) told investors today it has now applied for five new concessions, quadrupling the size of the project.

The news was well received with shares up 20 per cent to 0.6c in mid-morning Monday trade.

Analysts are bullish on zinc following the closure of a number of mines in Australia and Ireland and the cutting of production at others.

ICG shares over the past six months.
ICG shares over the past six months.

The metal, which is used to galvanise steel, is also benefiting from increased Chinese demand as the Asian powerhouse continues its crackdown on polluting operations.

Managing director Ross Brown says the development “elevates Cerro Rayas to equal billing with Inca’s flagship Greater Riqueza project and significantly enhances the company’s project portfolio”.

The new concessions cover more mine workings, mineralised outcrops and 18km of mineralised corridor.

Peru also recently introduced new exploration regulations that will make it easier for companies to advance their exploration projects by exempting most small-scale projects from the national system of environmental evaluation.

Inca says the new regulations will have a positive impact on its 2018 exploration and drilling activities at both the Riqueza and Cerro Rayas projects.

Stockhead is seeking further comment from Inca.