Shares in Azure Minerals got a lift in intraday trade on news it has increased its footprint in Mexico with the purchase of the high-grade Oposura zinc-lead-silver project for $US1.5 million.

The Perth-based explorer (ASX:AZS) gained more than 20 per cent in morning trade, hitting an intraday high of 17c on news it had wholly acquired the advanced-stage project containing massive sulphide-hosted, zinc, lead and silver mineralisation.

Azure’s managing director Mr Tony Rovira said the acquisition delivered on the company’s strategy of securing its next flagship project.

“This was all about getting the right project for the right deal, and with this acquisition we have done just that,” Mr Rovira said.

“Projects of this quality are rare and keenly sought after and I’m pleased that we have succeeded in acquiring the advanced stage, precious and base metal project that we’ve been seeking.”

Mr Rovira said exploration, metallurgical testwork and other development activities were in progress.

“We have gained a lot of knowledge of the project during the due diligence investigations and we’ll build upon this initial momentum by immediately commencing a resource drill-out program, while also undertaking activities such as metallurgical testwork, various mine development studies, and more widespread exploration, Mr Rovira added.

Previous drilling and exploratory underground mine development at the project has defined extensive zones of massive sulphide-hosted zinc-lead-silver mineralisation.

Sampling by Azure has already confirmed high-grade mineralisation with many samples grading over 40 per cent combined zinc and lead.

According to Azure, high-grade material is accessible via existing mine workings while the project holds significant potential for additional exploration success.

The company acquired the project from a private Mexican family company Grupo Minero Puma for $US1.5 million. A Net Smelter Return (NSR) royalty of 2.5 per cent on future production is payable to the family company.

Oposura project is well serviced by existing infrastructure and lies 150km by road northeast from Hermosillo, the capital city of Sonora where Azure has its Mexican-based exploration and administration office.

The project has previously been explored and mined during the period from the 1940s to 1970s by Anaconda Copper Company and the Mexican company Industrias Penoles.

Azure is also progressing two advanced precious and base metals projects in Mexico.

The Alacrán silver-gold-copper project is currently being explored in conjunction with Teck Resources, who are in the process of earning back an initial 51 per cent stake in the project. Teck, as operator, is managing exploration activities.

Azure also wholly owns the Promontorio copper-gold-silver project which comprises 10,520 hectares of highly prospective concessions in a district with numerous, multi-million ounce gold-silver mines currently in operation.

At 1pm AEST, shares in Azure had cooled slightly and were trading at 15c, up 7 per cent with over 13 million shares changing hands.