Minco To Acquire Interests in Canadian Projects Commences New Exploration Initiative in Northern England
Minco previously a base metals exploration and development company with zinc exploration in Ireland and zinc-silver investment in Mexico, the latter held through a 29% shareholding in Xtierra Inc. (XAG) listed on the TSX Venture Exchange (Toronto) has now acquired interests in Canadian mine properties as well as starting a new exploration initiative in northern England. Minco shares are listed on London's AIM stock exchange, Symbol: MIO.
North Pennines, England - Minco has commenced a new exploration initiative in the North Pennine Orefield located in the northern English counties of Cumbria, Northumberland and Durham. Minco plans an initial US$1 million exploration programme, including 4,000 metres of diamond drilling.
Exploration is focussed on the search for stratiform, replacement-style zinc and lead deposits in the unexplored, more massive limestone formations of the basal Carboniferous stratigraphy. There is significant untested potential for such mineralisation approximately 300-400m below previous, adit-accessed workings, and such deposits could be significantly larger than any previously discovered.
Specific exploration targets have already been identified by Minco and initial exploration drilling will be focussed at three principal sites. Minco will complete approximately 4,000 metres of core drilling. The average depth of each hole will be approximately 500m.
Newfoundland, Canada - Minco has recently announced that it has entered into a joint venture with Buchans Minerals Corporation whereby it may acquire a 51% interest in the Lundberg and other properties in the historic Buchans Mining Camp in Central Newfoundland.
The Buchans Mine operated from 1928 to 1984 and was regarded as one of Canada's richest base metal mines and is reported to have produced about 16 million tonnes of high grade zinc, lead and copper over that period. The Lundberg deposit is a stockwork-type VMS deposit surrounding and extending from the old Buchans mine, containing lower grade zinc, copper, lead and minor silver, which was identified by Buchans in a review of the historical archives of the old Buchans mine and upon which Buchans Minerals Corp has reported an Inferred Resource of 22.21 million tonnes averaging grades of 1.62% zinc, 0.69% lead, 0.38% copper and 5.81 g/t silver.
In August 2011, Buchans announced the completion of a positive Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) by Wardrop Engineering, based on a 5,000 tonne per day open pit mining and milling operation over a 10 year mine life. The PEA is based on Inferred Mineral Resources, which are not Mineral Reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability. Wardrop has recommended a number of programs to optimise and improve the Lundberg project to move it towards completion of a pre-feasibility study.
New Brunswick, Canada - Minco has entered in to a option/joint venture agreement on the Woodstock manganese deposit of Buchans Minerals Corp. Under the terms of the option agreement Minco has negotiated the right to earn, in stages, up to a 50% interest in the Canadian Manganese Company Inc. ("CMC"), a wholly owned subsidiary of Buchans Minerals that owns 100% of the Woodstock manganese property.
In the first stage Minco has committed to spend $1.250 million in drilling over a period of 12 months to earn a 10% interest in CMC.
At the end of Stage one, Minco will have 30 days to elect to continue with Stage two expenditures of $750,000 to complete a preliminary economic assessment ("PEA") on the Plymouth deposit within a further period of six months and thereby earn a further 10% interest in CMC, (cumulative 20%). In the event that Minco elects not to proceed to the second stage, Buchans will have a 90 day option to buy back Minco's 10% interest in CMC for $1.250 million.
Upon completion of the PEA, Minco will have an exclusive 3 month option to elect to earn a further 30% interest (cumulative 50%) in CMC by completing a pre-feasibility study on the Plymouth deposit within a further period of two years (the budget to be determined at that time).
Based on historical exploration work, the Woodstock deposits are potentially one of the largest undeveloped manganese carbonate resources in North America. Woodstock, although still at an early stage, is believed to have the potential to be developed into a significant producer of Electrolytic Manganese Metal (EMM), which is used primarily in the production of stainless steel.
Ireland - Minco is also engaged in zinc-lead exploration in Ireland, adjacent to the Galmoy and Tara mines and also holds a 2% NSR royalty on the Curraghinalt gold deposit located near Omagh, in Northern Ireland which is being explored by Dalradian Resources Inc.