Irish Zinc Discoveries

By Dave Brown – Exclusive to Zinc Investing News

Irish Zinc DiscoveriesIrish zinc explorer, Connemara Mining (LON:CON) has discovered two high grade zinc and lead mineralizations at Stonepark North, Limerick in addition to those already reported, which according to the Group suggests either a significant extension to the Stonepark North zone or the discovery of a new zone.

Connemara is currently exploring for new mineral deposits in terrains across the Republic of Ireland and holds 38 exploring licenses mainly for zinc and lead in known mineralized trends. Earlier this year, a Connemara drilling operation at Pallasgreen revealed a large body of zinc that could lead to the opening of one of Ireland’s largest mines. With an estimated 2 million tonnes of zinc ore, Ireland posesses the ninth largest volume of reserves in the world.

The latest discovery is situated approximately two kilometers north of the original detection at Stonepark. Both of the new discoveries are believed to boast high-grade yields and could see the mining company investing in additional bulk materials handling equipment at the site.  The drilling program is a joint venture with and operated by Teck Ireland, a subsidiary of Teck Resources Limited (NYSE:TCK).

John Teeling, chairman of Connemara, was optimistic on the news, “The Stonepark discovery in Limerick is getting bigger and better. The fact that these high grade results are at the same depth as Stonepark North and of similar geological character suggests an extension.”

Chinese Demand Sputtering and Threatening Future Production

On June 23, the Chinese Ministry of Finance released a statement to indicate tariffs on some zinc, tin, nickel, lead and copper products such as tubes and wires will be removed starting July 15.  The policy change was announced as a result of increasing trade complaints from the U.S. and the European Union.

Adding to concerns that this would create a Chinese supply glut was an earlier announcement that treatment charges for spot zinc concentrate imports to China have declined by 50 percent in the second quarter of this year due to reduced supplies.  Smelter officials and traders have suggested that a 20 percent decline in domestic refined zinc prices this quarter in addition to lower charges paid by overseas sellers of zinc concentrates to Chinese smelters could spur the smelters to cut production further in coming months.  Chinese zinc miners had been reducing the sale of zinc concentrate in the domestic market in the past few weeks due to low refined zinc prices, increasing demand for imports.

Spot Prices

Speculation that the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates near zero levels in order to support a recovery in the world’s largest economy have increased zinc futures price and strengthened the entire base metals pack at the London Metal Exchange.  Zinc increased as much as 1.7 percent to $1,860 per tonne and tin advanced as much as 1.8 percent to $18,150 per tonne.