Up to 12 drill rigs will continue to operate across Zenith Minerals’ core projects until January 2022 with a massive string of news flow expected to follow suit.  

Zenith Minerals (ASX:ZNC) has relished a year of big highs over the course of 2021.

It all started back in April when the first two holes of a 26-hole program at the Earaheedy Zinc Project in Western Australia returned a highlight 34m at 4.22% zinc and lead from 66m, including a higher grade 14m ‘core’ grading 7.05% zinc and lead.

At the time, these hits signified the potential for a ‘very-large-scale zinc-lead system’ at the Chinook prospect, which had only tested 2km of the 45km of prospective mineralised strike.

Of particular importance was the shallow nature of mineralisation that was intersected, amenable to large scale open cut mining scenarios.

ZNC CEO Mick Clifford says this major discovery was a key trigger in the company’s shares doubling in price.

In fact, in the week following the discovery, the company’s shares remained on an upward trajectory and reflected a 146% increase.

ZNC owns a ‘free carried’ 25% interest in the Earaheedy discovery, meaning it doesn’t pay anything on this project until the completion of a bankable feasibility study – which is often the final step before financing and construction.

Its joint venture partner Rumble Resources (ASX:RTR) owns 75% of the project.

Chinook prospect – location plan with drill hole status and drill results. Pic: Supplied

Since then, Zenith has secured around 100km of prospective host rock surrounding the Earaheedy Zinc discovery through 100% owned exploration licences, providing it with massive upside in this highly prospective rich basin.

And come October, the size of Chinook had increased by 44% with the mineralised footprint now 4.1km by 1.9km and remaining open in all directions.

Develin Creek

Heading across to the east, Clifford says another 2021 high was when the company discovered massive copper-zinc sulphides at the Snook prospect within its Develin Creek Copper-Zinc project in Queensland.

He said it was this moment that confirmed ZNC had found yet another sulphide deposit within its 50km of tenure, which proved the thesis that these deposits occur in clusters and raises the probability of success in expanding its mineral resource base for the project.

Snook was the first of eight targets to be drilled as part of the multi-rig program, but Zenith reckons it will add to the existing Sulphide City mineral resource, some 30km south of the resource area.

Project map. Pic: Supplied.

Located 80km northwest of Rockhampton, the Develin Creek base metals project is described by the company as hosting several copper-zinc-gold-silver volcanic hosted massive sulphide deposits and covers an extensive belt of underexplored prospective host rocks.

Mineralisation comprises massive sulphide, stringer, and breccia style copper-zinc-gold-silver deposits, hosted by basalts.

Zenith says its deposits are of a style similar to those currently being mined by Sandfire Resources (ASX: SFR) at DeGrussa and formerly by Independence Group (ASX: IGO) at Jaguar-Bentley in Western Australia.

The discovery of high-grade gold on the western flank of the Red Mountain breccia pipe proved to be another major win for the explorer.

Back in June a maiden drilling program at the previously untouched target hit a whopping 13m at 8g/t gold, including 6m at 16.7g/t gold from surface.

“The recognition of high-grade gold mineralisation on only a small segment of the breccia circumference opens the potential for further discoveries of high-grade mineralisation around the pipe margin and in its core,” Clifford added.

Its early days but Zenith believes the mineralisation style at Red Mountain is analogous to the 1.2moz Mt Wright and 2.5moz Mt Rawdon gold deposits, also in Queensland.

Split Rocks

Lastly, it was the discovery of widespread shear-hosted gold mineralisation at its Split Rocks project in Western Australia where Clifford says results were simply “outstanding” following a 150-hole program.

This included a massive hit of 3m grading 70g/t gold and defined a new 1km long by 300m wide gold mineralised zone at Dulcie Far North.

“An RC drill rig is booked to begin further testing in late January 2022 and if follow-up programs are successful then Zenith will be on its way to defining mineral resources at this project,” he said.

Market outlook

Clifford says he remains bullish on the green or EV metals such as lithium, copper, nickel, cobalt, rare earth elements, and manganese as decarbonisation continues to get a head of steam.

“I’m also bullish on gold as I believe it will remain a hedge against uncertainty whether that be related to climate, COVD-19, political issues or some future occurrence yet to be defined,” he said.

“And I like the zinc thematic, particularly for galvanising with its likely use in expansion of solar farm, battery and wind farm infrastructure worldwide where these projects are increasingly being developed in aggressive climate conditions, because zinc galvanising projects steel structures.”



This article was developed in collaboration with Zenith Minerals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.