Ironbark Zinc Limited (ASX:IBG) has declared a maiden JORC 2012-compliant ore reserve for the underground deposit of its flagship Citronen Zinc-Led Project in Greenland of 21.3 million tonnes at 6.3% zinc equivalent containing 1.3 million tonnes of zinc metal and 100,000 tonnes of lead metal.
The maiden reserve underpins the first 6.5 years of the recently optimised Citronen mine plan, allowing the company to begin discussions with new prospective project and offtake partners.
Ironbark considers this maiden ore reserve to be a critical step in its plans to reach final investment decision (FID) in 2021 given it is typically a condition precedent to any project financing package.
Ironbark managing director Michael Jardine said: “The declaration of the maiden ore reserve for the underground deposit at Citronen represents another significant milestone as the project moves towards an FID in 2021.
“The combination of a much improved, and now ore reserve-backed, mine plan, granted mining licence, completed feasibility study and the ongoing presence of Glencore and Trafigura as shareholders and off-takers clearly demonstrates the development-ready status of the project.
“A rising zinc price environment, backed by a completely refreshed and reoptimised feasibility study to be completed in early 2021, will be the launching pad for Ironbark to make its long-anticipated transition from explorer to producer.”
Greenland presents as an eminently safe investment jurisdiction amongst base case and probable project peers.
Citronen in the marketplace
The 6.3% zinc equivalent ore reserve grade at Citronen is favourably positioned given the long-term trend in declining zinc head grades globally.
In addition, relative to Citronen’s development peers, the project is forecast to be significantly larger and operate at a higher grade.
The project has a life of mine (LOM) average zinc production of 120,000 tonnes (Wood Mac estimate only) compared to 69,000 tonnes for peers and a LOM zinc equivalent grade of 6.3% (reserve grade) compared to 5.5% for its peers.
In terms of location, Greenland presents as an eminently safe investment jurisdiction amongst the suite of base case and probable project peers, with Citronen also rating favourably on forecast capital intensity (zinc metal/capex).