By Shane Lasley
Mining News 

Mining Explorers 2009: Junior scopes massive zinc deposit

Zazu confirms Lik as being one of the largest undeveloped zinc deposits in the West

 

Last updated 11/1/2009 at Noon



Zazu Metals Corp. is exploring what it believes is one of the largest undeveloped zinc-lead deposits in the world. Lik, the zinc-lead-silver-rich property that the Vancouver B.C.-based junior is lauding, is located about 22 kilometers, or 14 miles, northeast of Red Dog Mine, the world's largest zinc producer.

Previous explorers left behind a 1,300-meter airstrip and a historic camp at the 5,500-acre Northwest Alaska property. All of the cores from 26,000 meters of historical drilling on the property, with the exception of 10 holes stored in Anchorage, were stored at the camp.

Zazu said the high-grade deposit at Lik is an ideal fit in the company's business model of identifying high-quality, low-risk properties in an advanced exploration, or near-development stage.

"Lik is a known lead-zinc deposit with a large high-grade credible resource located adjacent to Red Dog, the world's largest and highest-grade lead-zinc mine. At 26 million metric tons and 12 percent combined metal, it would be a fantastic resource anywhere in the world. Being proximal to Red Dog provides enormous advantages, such as existing infrastructure and essentially a blueprint for the mine," said Matthew Ford, Zazu Metals' vice president of corporate development.


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Though Zazu said it has a limited number of shares outstanding, no debt, and a strong treasury, the company did not engage in exploration drilling this summer. Instead, the junior focused on continuing ongoing environmental and engineering studies with the goal of completing a preliminary assessment (scoping) study by the end of 2009.

New Lik resource

In May Zazu reported the completion of a current NI 43-101 resource estimate that confirms it as being one of the largest undeveloped zinc deposits in the Western Hemisphere.

The resource estimate includes more than 3.3 billion pounds of zinc, more than 1 billion pounds of lead and more than 31 million troy ounces of silver in the indicated category for Lik South. It also tallied nearly 1.3 billion pounds of zinc, almost 500 million pounds of lead and nearly 10 million troy ounces of silver in the inferred resource category for Lik North and Lik South.


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The resource estimate was based on results of 204 diamond drill holes, totaling 34,360 meters. The drilling covered 200-foot sections in the Lik South area, with holes mainly spaced 100 feet apart along section lines.

Scott Wilson Roscoe Postle Associates Inc. calculated the mineral resource estimate for Lik by constructing a wireframe block model at various cutoff grades for the Lik South deposit, and its offset extension Lik North.

Lik South is a shallow dipping, near-surface, stratiform deposit that Zazu believes is amenable to open-pit mining methods and associated low operating costs. Lik North, however, is deeper, and Zazu plans to mine it underground with access from the bottom of the Lik South pit.

The size, continuity, and near-surface location of the Lik South deposit make it especially attractive for development. As a result, Zazu immediately initiated a preliminary assessment (scoping) study and retained Scott Wilson RPA to perform this work.


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Red Dog port

A prospectus prepared for Zazu suggests shipping ore concentrates from Lik to market via the DeLong Mountain Regional Transportation System, now used by Teck Resources Ltd. to transport lead and zinc concentrates from Red Dog.

Zazu hired PND Engineers Inc. to determine what modifications of the DeLong Mountains port would be required in order for ore from Lik to be shipped from the facility. The junior has also retained Lounsbury Engineers to analyze the costs and requirements of corridor routes to connect Lik to the transportation system.

DeLong's 52-mile, all-weather haul road and port facility are owned by the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority.

Teck is a 50 percent joint venture partner in the Lik Project. Zazu owns the remaining 50 percent and has the exclusive right to increase its stake to 80 percent by meeting certain spending commitments by 2018.

 

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