With demand constantly on the rise and the recent closing of several mining operations in China, the global shortage of zinc has grown exponentially. The zinc shortage is expected to widen to 360,000 tons this year (http://dtn.fm/qab6X), according to market analysts, but the figure might grow further in wake of China’s decision to completely halt production as part of a nationwide environmental crackdown on the local steel industry. Major zinc exploration projects such as Canadian mining company Kootenay Zinc Corp.’s (CSE: ZNK) (OTCQB: KTNNF) Sully property could have a major impact on the global output of zinc and significantly narrow the offer-demand gap.
Responsible for roughly 50 percent of the global zinc output, China has been relying heavily on imports in recent months, further putting strain on the dwindling supply of the metal. China is both the largest consumer and producer of zinc, accounting for roughly five million tons of output before the crackdown. Zinc prices have also been more volatile in recent months, after reaching an all-time high of $3,000 a ton in February of this year and now settling to approximately $2,400-$2,500, as initially forecast by experts last year.
Despite the price drop, zinc remains one of the most attractive investment opportunities on the metals market, with mining companies rushing to expand current reserves or discover new ones in view of helping solve the global shortage problem. Additionally, any mining company that will release large volumes of zinc on the market could certainly make a sizeable profit and see its stock value soar.
Vancouver-based zinc mining and development corporation Kootenay Zinc Corp. is set to capitalize on the current market situation when it fully begins extraction operations at its massive Sully Project. Located just 30 miles (18 kilometers) from the legendary Sullivan Mine, the Sully Project seems to meet all the conditions for a highly successful zinc extraction operation, with all tests so far indicating the presence of a large deposit. Sully shares several geological features with the Sullivan Mine, which was one of the world’s largest deposits of silver, lead and zinc. Some of these features include: being in the same sedimentary basin, having the exact stratigraphic time horizon, gravity anomaly indicating excess mass at Sully comparable to Sullivan, Pb-Zn present in drill core, outcrop and soil geochemical anomaly.
Kootenay Zinc Corp. has not issued any estimate as to how much zinc it expects to extract at Sully, but all signs point to the presence of a massive SEDEX deposit in the area. The project is being managed by Paul Ransom, a reputed geologist and Sullivan SEDEX deposit expert who has worked with several other mega-deposits throughout his career. It should be noted that the nearby Sullivan Mine, which was in operation for roughly 100 years, produced 17 million tonnes of zinc and lead and 337 million ounces of silver prior to its closing in 2001. The estimated value of Sullivan’s total output, calculated at current price values, was roughly $49 billion.
To find out more about Kootenay Zinc Corp. and the company’s exploration efforts at Sully, visit www.KootenayZinc.com
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