The Ireland-based property has an inferred resource of 5.3 million tonnes grading 11.15 percent zinc and lead combined. It is open along and across strike.
Zinc exploration company Group Eleven Resources (TSXV:ZNG) reached a milestone last week with the release of a resource estimate for its Stonepark project.
According to a Tuesday (April 17) press release, the property has an inferred resource of 5.3 million tonnes grading 11.15 percent zinc and lead combined, or 8.55 percent zinc and 2.6 percent lead. It is open along and across strike.
Stonepark lies along the Pallas Green trend, and is one of a number of zinc assets Group Eleven owns in Ireland. In total, the company holds 99 prospecting licenses covering 3,200 square kilometers, giving it the largest land position in the country.
Speaking to the Investing News Network, Bart Jaworski, CEO of Group Eleven, said the company spent three years amassing that position before completing a $5-million IPO at the end of 2017.
“All the majors in Ireland were having balance sheet issues, and they started to divest their ground positions,” he said, adding, “there became an opportunity to pick up land that had been held for a long time — all of a sudden these good swathes of land became … available for a brief time.”
Tralee was the first property Group Eleven picked up, with Silvermines and PG West following, and then Ballinalack and Stonepark. Both Ballinalack and Stonepark were formerly owned by Teck Resources (TSX:TCK.B,NYSE:TECK), which is known for its Red Dog zinc mine, one of the largest in the world.
Acquiring those assets from Teck took up much of last year, and Jaworski noted that part of the reason the deal went through was that MAG Silver (TSX:MAG,NYSEAMERICAN:MAG) had taken an interest in Group Eleven, investing in one of the company’s seed financings. “That led to Teck then feeling comfortable to negotiate with us because they knew we had a strategic backer,” he noted.
Since acquiring those and other properties and going public, Group Eleven has embarked on a two-pronged mission. The first is to complete further drilling and resource definition at its projects, while the second is a larger-scale effort. “[We are] trying to rewrite the book on Irish geology with fresh eyes, the newest thinking and with intentionally non-Irish expertise married with intentionally Irish expertise.”
Why? As Jaworski explained, Group Eleven’s overall goal is to find Ireland’s next major zinc mine. He noted that the country hosts “the gold standard of zinc deposit types,” and commented, “they’re Mississippi Valley type, which [means they] tend to be coarse grained, clean and geometrically simple.” In addition to prospective geology, they are also often “very good deposits to mine.”
Group Eleven is not the only company that has noticed Ireland’s positive characteristics, which also include good infrastructure and governance. Jaworski said that while the country’s exploration scene has mainly been run by major miners over the last 50 years, that has started to change.
“A lot of the ground position in Ireland is now under our belt, but there are also other companies that have emerged in the last few years,” he said. Those include Hannan Metals (TSXV:HAN) and Adventus Zinc (TSXV:ADZN), both of which are listed in Canada, along with Irish companies like Connemara Mining (LSE:CON) and Erris Resources (LSE:ERIS). Connemara is partnered with Group Eleven at Stonepark.
Jaworski hopes Group Eleven’s combination of Irish and non-Irish expertise will help it achieve its two main goals. He pointed to COO David Furlong and Vice President, Exploration John Barry, both formerly of Rathdowney Resources (TSXV:RTH), as well as Peter Megaw of MAG Silver, a key advisor, and Director Dan MacInnis, formerly of MAG Silver. “That’s a pretty good combination,” he said.
For now, investors can look forward to further drilling at Stonepark and at Ballinalack, along with bigger-picture work involving seismic data, Tellus airborne surveying and tectonic and stratigraphic studies. “We’re just starting to fire on all cylinders,” said Jaworski.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: Hannan Metals is a client of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.
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