Zinc interceptor: BPM Minerals is ready for action at its Earaheedy lead-zinc-silver super basin
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BPM is preparing to start a major zinc exploration program following the grant of its flagship Hawkins project in the emerging Earaheedy lead-zinc-silver super basin.
The company’s flagship project is certainly in the right address given that it is just 40km northwest along strike from Rumble Resources’ exciting Chinook lead-zinc discovery as well as being close to further lead-zinc discoveries being made by both Rumble and Strickland Metals.
More evidence is piling up of lead-zinc mineralisation within the project as limited historical scout drilling by RGC Limited yielded a best intercept of 2m grading 0.56% zinc+lead in the Pinnacles prospect on the East-West Graben fault in the northwest.
With assets under foot, BPM Minerals (ASX:BPM) is responding to the growing demand for zinc, which has important applications in energy storage batteries as well as solar and wind power alongside its more traditional applications such as producing galvanised steel.
Zinc prices have been climbing steadily over the past year due to a combination of growing demand and a drop in refined zinc production brought about by high energy prices.
S&P Global Market Intelligence has forecast global refined zinc consumption will rise 2.5% in 2022 while power curbs in China and high energy costs elsewhere are expected to limit refined zinc production to just 0.7%.
Highlighting this, Nyrstar, one of the world’s largest producers of zinc metal has shut down up to 50% of its smelting production in Europe while Glencore recently announced production curtailments in Spain, Germany and Italy.
This is expected to deliver an increase in the market deficit from 199,000t in its previous forecast to 326,000t.
It also forecast that 2022 zinc prices on the London Metals Exchange would hit US$3,296 per tonne.
The Hawkins Project covers a significant strike length of the prospective Frere-Yelma Formation unconformity which remains untested.
BPM is working with local traditional owners the Marputu Aboriginal Corporation to ensure BPM completes its Heritage and Cultural clearances.
These clearances are expected to be completed in early March with earthworks and pad clearing to be completed in the same program.
The company has already secured a multipurpose aircore/reverse circulation drill rig that had previously been working on Rumble’s Chinook discovery to complete an 8,000m drill program that will begin once earthworks are completed.
Modern discoveries in the Earaheedy Basin have been drill-led with previous programs often missing the key mineralisation horizons due to underpowered rigs.
BPM has already identified a number of key stratigraphic horizons from ground mapping and regional-scale magnetic data.
This article was developed in collaboration with BPM 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.