The company uncovered over 11.5 metres of massive sulfides at Hole No. BMZ78 with a true width of 55-65% of drilled width. The junior miner expects assaying results to follow some time in January 2019.
Patrick McGrath, Blue Moon CEO, went on to illustrate, “Receiving the key multi-year drill permit earlier in 2018 is a project milestone and we recently completed our first phase of drilling on the Blue Moon deposit, which included very encouraging massive sulphide mineralization over a large width. The Company continues to take the steps to further advance the high-grade zinc deposit and looks forward to receiving the final assays for the 2018 drilling program and planning our follow-on drilling program to continue to expand and explore the current Blue Moon deposit.”
This is a distinctive feather in Blue Moon’s cap as it seeks to re-develop the zinc deposit first brought to light by Hecla Mining in the 1940s. During that earlier heyday, Hecla processed 55,656 tons grading 12.3% zinc until the mine was abandoned in 1945 due to plunging copper prices.
Well, besides the fact that zinc is an essential trace element for most living things, it is also the fourth most used metal behind iron, aluminum and copper. It is most commonly used in galvanization of iron and steel, but also acts as an anti-corrosive agent and is essential in the creation alloys such as brass and commercial bronze. Zinc compounds are also used in paint/dye pigments, fire retardants, UV protection, fungicides and wood preservatives.
The importance of zinc in our modern world was yet again affirmed back in 2016 when, for the first time in almost a decade, global demand outstripped supply. Emerging economies like China have been gobbling it up wholesale as it spends trillions to improve its infrastructure. As a result, global consumption of zinc in 2017 climbed to 14.1 million tonnes.
On top of this traditional consumption model, analysts at Stormcrow Capital have touted the importance of the emerging market for zinc/air batteries as a low cost superior alternative to lithium batteries for grid power storage. Currently the lithium option costs about $300 per kWh, whereas zinc/air batteries like the Znyth battery system, developed by US-based Eos Energy Storage and slated for delivery in 2022 will cost US$95 per usable kWh.
These same analysts went on to estimate that demand from cheap grid storage using batteries could run to 4,404GGWh, including 3,904GWh for renewables. This in turn would require over 19.0 million tons of zinc to build. This additional number is almost 1.5 times what is currently consumed worldwide. Admittedly this total demand wouldn’t hit immediately, but the analysts predicted it could push global demand by approximately three percent annually.
As we slip into our future of smart grids and renewables, zinc may figure more prominently than ever before, providing perfect incentive for the development of zinc assets, especially advanced stage projects like the Blue Moon deposit.
Blue Moon’s flagship property is located in Mariposa County deep in the California Trough and, according to its recently updated NI-43-101 Mineral Resource report announced at the end of November, Blue Moon sits on 7.8 million inferred tons at 8.07% zinc equivalence, including 771 million pounds of 4.95% zinc, 71 million pounds of 0.46% copper, 300,000 ounces of gold at 0.04 oz/t and 10 million ounces of silver at 1.33 oz/t.
With these numbers and Blue Moon’s aggressive exploration program, it looks like 2019 just might be an active and exciting year for the Canadian junior and its investors.
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