Diversified explorer Zenith Minerals (ASX: ZNC) has gone into a trading halt ahead of an announcement that it has forged an alliance and joint venture over its lithium ground in Western Australia.
This followed just hours after the company announced it had intersected more broad widths and high grades of copper at its Develin Creek project in Queensland.
The yet-to-be revealed lithium deal comes against a background of big jumps in the share price of several lithium leaders in past days.
Zenith’s lithium ground is at its Split Rocks project in Western Australia, which was initially acquired for its gold potential and which has targets over 18km beneath and along strike from current mines and resources.
This covers 650 square kilometres in the underexplored Forrestania greenstone belt near Southern Cross.
But the ground was more recently found to be prospective for lithium, with the mineralisation located near the Mt Holland pegmatite project, 50:50 owned by Wesfarmers (ASX: WES) and Chile’s SQM lithium powerhouse.
Details of the lithium deal will be released before trading opens next Tuesday.
High-grade copper lens confirmed
Meanwhile, at the Develin Creek project located 80km northwest of Rockhampton in Central Queensland, Zenith has hit broad zones of copper at the Scorpion prospect.
Notable intersections were 21m at 2.5% copper, 1.6% zinc, 0.4 grams per tonne gold and 18g/t silver; 20m at 2.3% copper, 0.3% zinc, 0.4g/t gold and 16.2g/t silver; and 18m at 1.7% copper, 0.6% zinc, 0.6g/t gold and 26.3g/t silver.
Zenith chief executive officer Mick Clifford said the drilling at Scorpion has confirmed the high-grade nature of the copper lens which, along with the Sulphide City resource, forms the basis of the historical inferred mineral resource.
“Once we can complete the planned drill program at Sulphide City, which was curtailed in 2021 due to significant rainfall, we’ll then be able to update the resource estimate.”
That existing estimate is that the Develin Creek project is a volcanic-hosted massive sulphide (VMS) copper-zinc deposit with an inferred mineral resource of 2.57Mt at 1.76% copper, 2.01% zinc, 0.2g/t gold and 9.6g/t silver (2.62% copper equivalent).
“More importantly,” Mr Clifford continued, we are very keen to get the drill rigs back to Snook and Wilsons North (prospects) where we successfully discovered new massive copper-zinc sulphide zones in our regional drill programs in 2021.”
Mineralisation comprises massive sulphide, stringer and breccia style copper-zinc-gold-silver deposits, hosted by basalts.
Zenith has previously stated its deposits are of a style similar to those currently being mined by Sandfire Resources (ASX: SFR) at DeGrussa and Independence Group (ASX: IGO) at Jaguar-Bentley in Western Australia.