Zinc explorer Trek Metals could be “onto something that could become very large” at a project in the African nation of Gabon after recording zinc grades of 8 per cent near surface. 

Results from the top 16.5m of the first drill hole tested returned a high grade 3m zone of 8 per cent zinc and 1.5 per cent lead at a previously unexplored part of Trek’s Kroussou project.

Anything above 10 per cent is considered high-grade for zinc, but grades for zinc mines average around 5 per cent according to mining analysts at AME Group.

All other holes drilled along the 1.5km length of site show visible zinc and lead and potential for multiple deposits near surface at Kroussou, according to Trek (ASX:TKM). 

The high grade, near-surface results gave the company confidence it was “onto something that could become very large”, said Trek boss Bradley Drabsch.   

“It is amazing in the 21st Century, to be busy exploring for the types of deposits we are targeting – at or near the surface – while most of our competitors are searching deep under cover for underground mines,” he said.  

“We are literally able to stand on what would be very high‐grade zinc and lead ore –something you simply don’t get to do very much nowadays.”  

The Trek (ASX:TKM) share price over the past year
The Trek (ASX:TKM) share price over the past year

More results will follow in the coming weeks.  

Access to the 1500 sq km Kroussou project in the mature mining jurisdiction of Gabon – on the west coast of central Africa — is good, with new high-quality roads leading into the project from the capital city Libreville.  

Trek shares sit at about 1.8c. They have traded between 1.4c and 5.1c over the past year. 

Zinc market outlook

Zinc stocks are having a rough year as a result of the metal’s sharp fall from a June half average of $US1.48/lb to $US1.10/lb this week (see table below). 

But the outlook is promising  — Chinese zinc production plunged 8.6 per cent in the June half due to shutdowns of small-to-medium mines, while London Metal Exchange warehouse zinc stocks remain at near five-year lows. 

Zinc price movement over the past year
Zinc price movement over the past year