Blue Moon Zinc Corp. (TSXV: MOON) (OTC: BMOOF), a mineral exploration company, is focused on developing its advanced-stage, wholly owned Blue Moon zinc project in central California. The project sits within Mariposa County, an area of active mines and exploration projects since it was part of the California gold rush era. Blue Moon’s 525 acres of mineral rights are assigned to patented and unpatented claims accessible by a gravel road off a nearby highway with main utility lines nearby.
The Blue Moon deposit is one of many located in the Foothills Massive Sulphide Belt in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. The property has a long history of exploration and saw small-scale mining during World War II. The current project, to be mined by underground methods, contains an estimated 3.70 million tons with a grade of 8.33% zinc equivalent for approximately 377 million pounds of zinc in the indicated category and another 4.09 million tons with a grade of 7.84% zinc equivalence for approximately 395 pounds of zinc in the inferred category. Significant bi-products of copper, silver and gold are also indicated. The deposit is open at depth and along strike with a high likelihood of expansion.
Current spot prices for zinc is approximately $1.40 per pound, which increases the potential returns of the Blue Moon project.
The historical database shows extensive plans to put the Blue Moon project into production, including several scoping and optimization studies. Past environmental work performed, along with an historical permit and reclamation plan approved for certain underground development, highlights past local county support for the project. These historical studies and permits are expected to help fast track the project’s progress as they form an excellent base for the upcoming Preliminary Economic Assessment and later feasibility study.
Among the significant historical studies conducted is a 1998 metallurgical report that shows recovery rates of 95 percent for zinc and lead, 93 percent for copper, 65 percent for silver and 70 percent for gold (http://nnw.fm/U1ckE). The report indicates that simple processing methods will produce premium concentrates with easy separation of the economic minerals.
Blue Moon CEO Patrick McGrath, who has 20 years of experience in financing and executive roles in the junior mining public sector, is joined by a management team with successful track records in leading and participating in significant mineral discoveries with development-stage mining companies. The Blue Moon team also includes a member who permitted and built the Soledad mine in southern California in 2016 and a member who re-started the Mesquite mine in southern California. Local knowledge and know-how is key. The company also plans to engage a recognized third-party engineering firm to prepare a preliminary economic assessment report, expected for release in the first quarter of 2018, to demonstrate the economic viability of the Blue Moon mineral resources.