The production, longevity, and riches are legendary; 337 million ounces of silver and more than 17 million tons of lead and zinc were produced during nearly a century of operation. Today’s value of the minerals taken is nearly $50 billion dollars. Put in perspective, the nine million tons of lead produced during its lifetime by the astonishing Sullivan Mine in British Columbia was enough lead to manufacture 500 million lead-acid batteries for automobiles, and the mine also produced enough zinc, eight million tons, to supply the zinc content in 160 million cars.
In addition to a treasure trove of minerals, the Sullivan Mine provided immense ancillary benefits to mine employees and surrounding communities. It’s estimated that Sullivan paid in excess of $5 billion in wages and benefits and another $20 billion in direct contribution to the local economies, such as taxes, payments to suppliers and the purchase of local services. Economists postulate that Sullivan’s $20 billion in direct contributions equated to three times that amount in indirect effects (local retail, services, housing, education, etc.), or another $60 billion added to the economy. These are unquestionably impressive contributions from the Sullivan Mine, which remains the largest SEDEX deposit uncovered to date.
SEDEX, or sedimentary exhalative deposits, are ore deposits formed when hydrothermal fluids enter a water reservoir, such as an ocean, and discharge minerals. Geology validates the value of SEDEX deposits, which have proven to be a major source of high grade minerals including copper, silver, gold and tungsten, as well as being the world’s single most important source of both lead and zinc.
The value of high grade SEDEX deposits is further crystallized by looking at the increasing value of the underlying minerals. The intrinsic nature of silver and gold are overshadowed by the current shortage and increased global demand for zinc. Zinc prices have exploded over 60 percent this year, to $1.17 per pound in May 2017 from $0.70 per pound one year ago, and zinc appears to be poised to break even higher due to a projected shortage of about 500,000 tons this year. Zinc is indispensable in building materials, automotive, galvanized steel and the production of batteries.
With the famed Sullivan Mine shut down, attention has now turned to what may become the planet’s next legendary SEDEX deposit. In line with these efforts, Kootenay Zinc Corp. (CSE: ZNK) (OTCQB: KTNNF) is ramping up exploration of its Sully Project. Located just 18 miles from Sullivan, the same sedimentary rocks that host Sullivan are present at Sully and could be different environments of the same basin. Paul Ransom, respected geologist and noted Sullivan SEDEX deposit expert, has called the Sully Project, “…the best exploration target of Sullivan Size that I have seen in my (33 year) career.”
So far, drilling efforts at the Sully Project have been deemed a very near miss, and Kootenay Zinc has undertaken the necessary steps to target what may well become the world’s next great SEDEX deposit.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.KootenayZinc.com
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