Zinc ‘crisis’ will spark exploration
Tuesday, 26th May, 2015
By Erica Visser
Geologist Ian Plimer has referred to his counterparts in the field as “absolutely bed-wettingly pathetic” whilst spruiking Broken Hill’s exploration potential.
The mining company director and former local made the comment in reference to an impending zinc shortage, whilst addressing investors at the Resources and Investment Symposium yesterday.
“The geologists out there are absolutely pathetic, you haven’t found a new lead ore deposit for 40 years,” he said.
“There is a large zinc deposit that provides 13 per cent of the world’s zinc. It is closing and there is no significant large tonnage high-grade deposit (to replace it).
“...We are facing a zinc crisis. There is just not enough zinc for an industrial planet.”
Mr Plimer predicted the so-called crisis would trigger a turnaround in the slumped commodity market.
“All of a sudden people will say, ‘Bloody hell, we should be putting money into zinc exploration.’”
According to Mr Plimer, this would boost the city’s potential as a “very, very juicy area for exploration”, given the likelihood of nearby sister ore bodies.
“It is an extraordinary fertile area however when we look around the world at other fertile areas, such as the Abitibi belt in Canada, we find that ore bodies occur in clusters,” he said.
“We do not get an orphan and Broken Hill is an orphan and it goes against everything we know.”
Mr Plimer is a director of Silver City Minerals, whose Managing Director Chris Torrey gave a sponsor presentation later yesterday.
“A new discovery near Broken Hill, of a typically early grade of Broken Hill, will make a significant change in the zinc market,” Mr Torrey said.
The company’s Razorback West project is considered to host the northern extension of the Line of Lode, offset by a fault known as the Stephens Creek Shear Zone.
Drilling to date has returned anomalous lead and zinc and has confirmed a favourable rock sequence.