Zinc of Ireland pens agreement to purchase rare earths project in WA

Perth-based explorer Zinc of Ireland (ASX:ZMI) has entered a binding tenement sale agreement to acquire 2 granted exploration licences that form the Cascade Project near Esperance in Western Australia.

The project tenements lie within the Munglinup Gneiss Terrane and are contiguous to licence blocks held by Meeka Metals (ASX:MEK) and adjacent to OD6 Metals (ASX:OD6), which have both recently reported ‘encouraging’ rare earth element (REE) results from the area.

Under the agreement with the sellers, Syndicate Minerals and Gneiss Results, Zinc of Ireland will acquire tenements E74/690 and E74/691 by issuing 3.1 million shares at $0.024. Of these shares, 2.5 million will be received by Syndicate Minerals, and 600,000 will be issued to Gneiss.

Zinc of Ireland will also grant Syndicate Minerals a 1.5% net smelter royalty (NSR) on standard commercial terms, including a partial buyback clause in favour of Zinc of Ireland.

The company reports it now plans to complete the transaction, engage with all relevant stakeholders to confirm access agreements, and obtain a social licence to operate the new project.

Zinc of Ireland also plans to finalise technical drillhole planning and source quotes from suitable rotary-air-blast (RAB)/aircore (AC) drilling contractors to test the known rare earth element (REE) anomalies. Regolith mapping and clay mineralogy testwork will be conducted in conjunction with drilling.

Commenting on the acquisition, Zinc of Ireland Non-Executive Chairman Peter Huljich says: “ZMI is pleased to have expanded into the green and metals sector through this low-cost acquisition.

The exploration model that will be applied offers immediate and significant leverage to shareholders at a time when the Esperance REE province continues to deliver exciting results and many countries seek to guarantee their own supply of REE metals from outside of China. We look forward to exploring this project and any other complimentary projects that ZMI may acquire.

The exploration model that will be applied offers immediate and significant leverage to shareholders at a time when the Esperance REE province continues to deliver exciting results”

ZMI is also excited about the potential of our brownfield’s Rathdowney Irish Base Metal Project, which is being actively explored. We remain focused on unlocking value for shareholders through this project, which contains over 1 million tonnes of contained zinc and lead metal.”

Zinc of Ireland reports the Cascade Project covers ‘significant’ areas of total rare earth oxide (TREO) enrichment in regolith, defined by auger drilling by AngloGold Ashanti (ASX:AGG) between 2010 and 2012.

This historical auger drilling encountered near-surface enrichment in REEs with widespread anomalism up to 1,031 parts per million (ppm) TREO over a considerable area. AngloGold only sampled to a maximum depth of around 3m and targeted the most calcretised pedogenic horizon. Zinc of Ireland says the resultant TREO auger anomalies generated may therefore under-represent potential underlying REE mineralisation.

Zinc of Ireland is a Perth-based zinc explorer with a portfolio of ‘high-grade’ Irish-type zinc projects in Ireland and Western Australia. Included in this portfolio are the Kildare Zinc and Rathdowney projects in Ireland and the Earaheedy Project in Western Australia.

Write to Harry Mulholland at Mining.com.au

Images: Zinc of Ireland NL
Written By Harry Mulholland
Hailing from the Central Coast region of NSW, Harry is a passionate journalist with a background in print, radio and ESG news. When not bashing away on his keyboard, he can be found brewing a coffee or playing with his dog.