Maronan Metals (ASX:MMA) reports another wide interval of visible lead sulphide mineralisation from ongoing drilling at its Maronan Silver-Lead Copper-Gold project in northwest Queensland.
Commenting to Mining.com.au, Managing Director Richard Carlton says the Shallow Silver Zone (SSZ) is expected to generate further significant results as the company expands drilling around the “recent exciting results”.
He says in parallel, Maronan Metals expects to report assays from the Copper-Gold Zone where wide visual intercepts of copper sulphides were recently reported.
Last week, Maronan Metals reported another wide interval of visible lead sulphide mineralisation from the ongoing drill program at its Maronan Silver-Lead Copper-Gold project located 90km north of the ‘giant’ Cannington Silver-Lead-Zinc Mine in Northwest Queensland.
Newly completed drillhole MRN23007 intersected a 20m down-hole interval of visible galena (lead sulphide) mineralisation along the Eastern Horizon at the interpreted position of the Shallow Silver Zone. In particular, the company says wide interval of banded carbonate galena mineralisation is located 150m below MRN23005 where visually similar mineralisation returned strong silver with lead results.
Maronan Metals notes strong galena mineralisation is also visible within the parallel Western Horizon and strong copper sulphides correlating with the southward extension to the Copper-Gold Zone are also observed. Assays from MRN23007 are anticipated in July 2023.
The drill rig has moved to test other shallow targets within the Starter Zone.
As per the company’s latest quarterly report, step-out drilling has firmed up the Shallow Silver Zone (SSZ), which the company reports are a likely early contributor to any potential future production scenario.
“Basically, we are finding shallow, thick intervals of high-grade mineralisation which could be the first ore to be mined. This is significant because high value mineralisation at shallow depths should allow us to rapidly payback any loans taken out to build a mine. Its positive economic significance should not be underestimated.”
“Its positive economic significance should not be underestimated”
Carlton tells this news service with lead and silver a focus, commodities not often reported on like battery metals or even base or critical metals, the company’s project is quite significant.
“The largest and best silver mines in the world are in fact lead mines with strong silver credits with the giant Broken Hill, Cannington, Mount Isa and McArthur River deposits being some of the world’s best. These giant silver-rich deposits are mostly held by major mining houses but our company’s emerging Maronan deposit is one of these silver-rich deposit styles.
In fact, Maronan Metals is one of only a few companies listed on the ASX offering investors direct exposure to strong silver mineralisation which makes MMA a unique, almost boutique opportunity.”
The MD adds that silver and lead are key industrial metals offering exposure to global decarbonisation and battery megatrends. Silver is both a precious metal and an industrial with demand from both sectors going up. Silver like gold is a secure store of wealth currently rising in value due to global insecurities and financial uncertainty coupled with local currency devaluations. Its forecast industrial use is exponential with it biggest uses being in solar panels and as silver solder for electrification.
Carlton notes: “As for lead, over 70% of the world’s batteries are in fact proven lead-acid batteries and like lithium, their demand is forecast to grow steadily. In particular, lead demand is forecast to grow in the stationary battery market used to store renewable energy. Lead from batteries, unlike lithium, is almost 90% recycled and currently offers huge environmental and sustainability advantages over lithium.”
In terms of any potential future production scenario, while it is early days, the MD say shallow, high-value mineralisation requires less capital investment which means a ‘junior’ company like Maronan Metals could transition from explorer to miner with limited financial and technical risk.
“A good example of a small high-grade project turning an explorer into a miner would be the discovery and development of the DeGrussa copper deposit by Sandfire back in 2009. Although not copper, the inground value of the silver with lead at Maronan compares favourably with that of DeGrussa at the time of discovery. This gives us confidence that we could develop this project on our own without a JV partner.”
Write to Adam Orlando at Mining.com.au
Images: Maronan Metals Ltd