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Tinka Resources' preliminary economic assessment underlines Ayawilca zinc project's considerable potential

A resource estimate dated November 26 last year showed a higher confidence indicated resource of 11.7 million tonnes, containing 1.8 billion pounds of zinc
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OVERVIEW: TK The Big Picture
Tinka Resources workers in Peru
  • One of the largest undeveloped zinc projects in the world

  • Low risk jurisdiction amid scarcity of new projects in development

  • Preliminary economic assessment expected soon


Tinka Resources Ltd (CVE:TK) (OTCPK:TKRFF) is advancing the wholly owned Ayawilca zinc project in Peru, which is one of the largest undeveloped zinc prospects in the world.

It spans 170 sq km and lies 40 km northwest of Cerro de Pasco in the richly mineralized silver-lead-zinc belt of Central Peru, one of the top two global producers of copper, zinc and silver.

A resource estimate dated November 26 last year showed a higher confidence indicated resource of 11.7 million tonnes, containing 1.8 billion pounds of zinc, 983 tonnes of indium, 5.8 million ounces of silver, 42 million pounds of lead.

In the inferred category, there is 45 million tonnes, containing 5.6 billion pounds of zinc, 3,003 tonnes of indium, 25.2 million ounces of silver and 230 million pounds of lead.

The project benefits from good infrastructure and is 15km from Peru's largest silver mine and 40km from the country's second largest zinc mine.

Outlook

A maiden PEA (preliminary economic assessment) is currently underway for the project, with the result expected, according to the company, by the end of this month (June). Tinka hired engineering giant Wood Group as lead consultant. The  report is poised to show the world what the project is deemed to be worth.

In December last year, CEO Dr Graham Carman told Proactive there was already interest from large base metals miners, although no deal as yet was on the table.

In April this year, the firm said drilling (up to 10,000m program) had started at the project in a bid to build on last year's work, which confirmed the presence of high-grade zinc mineralization underneath the current resource.

Tinka said it planned several deep holes at West and South Ayawilca to test for repetitions of high-grade zinc mineralization beneath existing zinc resources, which will also double as infill holes. Further  holes will be drilled along strike of existing resources to test for extensions of the mineralization where the resource still remains open.

The company says it believes there is "excellent potential" for additional discoveries of high-grade zinc mineralization.

Why zinc?

After copper, aluminum and iron, zinc is the most commonly used metal by industry - mainly for galvanizing. It is also used in human health products and zinc air batteries.

Zinc oxide is also widely used in making many household products such as paints, rubber, cosmetics.

Inventories are at an 11- year low and there is a scarcity of new projects in the pipeline to satisfy future demand. Supertanker China is the main producer, but in recent times has been a net importer of the commodity. Prices have recently seen an upturn on fears of dwindling supplies.

High recoveries achievable

This month, the project's credentials were further boosted when it was reported  test work showed recoveries of 92% zinc at a concentrate grade of 50% could be consistently achieved using a standard flotation processing method.

What the CEO says:

"We believe the Ayawilca zinc concentrate will be desirable for many smelters due to the low levels of silica, manganese and other deleterious elements, as well as for the high indium levels," Dr Carman said this month.

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