Development Projects


Dugald River

Location Queensland, Australia
Ownership 100%
Mine Type Underground
Ore Body Type Sediment hosted lead-zinc mineralisation (SEDEX)
Primary Metal Zinc
Mining Method Mechanised UG mining
Expected Mine Life 16 years +

The Dugald River deposit is a significant undeveloped lead and zinc resource in northwest Queensland located some 65 kilometres northwest of Cloncurry. The deposit is in a prolific world-class base metal province, close to power, water and transport infrastructure.

A resource of 47.9Mt of 12.1% zinc, 2.1% lead and 44g/t silver is hosted in a north south trending black slate of the Corrella formation. The Corrella formation, typically a sequence of biotite-scapolite schists and variably altered and brecciated calc-silicates, is part of the Mary Katherine Group in the eastern succession of the Mount Isa Inlier. The stratabound massive lead zinc deposit outcrops at surface over a distance of 1.6 kilometres and is open at depth.

Exploration is also being carried on and adjacent to the Dugald River mining leases. Significant copper intersections and outcrops identified and potential is being assessed.

Feasibility study into the development of a 200,000 pa zinc metal mine initiated in early 2007. Construction logistics study has confirmed feasibility of off-shore modular construction.

Dugald River

Izok Lake

Location Nunavut, Canada
Ownership 100%
Mine Type Open Pit and Underground
Ore Body Type Volcanogenic hosted massive sulphide (VHMS)
Primary Metals Zinc and copper plus lead and silver
Mining Method Open pit (truck and shovel) and Mechanised Underground mining
Expected Mine Life 10 years +

Izok Lake is one of the world's highest grade undeveloped volcanogenic massive sulphide deposits. The current total resource is approximately 14.8 million tonnes with a zinc grade of 12.8% and a copper grade of 2.6%.

The Izok Lake massive sulphide deposits occur within Archaean-aged volcanic rocks of the Slave craton of the Canadian Shield. The deposits are hosted within and near the top of a thick sequence of felsic pyroclastic, volcanoclastics, dacitic and basaltic flows, thin sulphide rich iron formations and turbiditic sediments. The felsic volcanics are intruded by syn to late hydrothermal dacite and gabbro dykes, both of which are feeders to overlying flows.

As presently defined, the sulphide deposits comprise a cluster of four zoned composite lenses: the Northwest, Central, North and Inukshuk zones. The first three are amenable to open pit mining, while Inukshuk will be mined underground.

The Inukshuk lens remains open to the east and will be the subject of further drilling. A number of geophysical targets potentially indicative of massive sulphide bodies have been located near Izok and will be tested by drilling in 2007 and 2008.

Options studies on port/road locations and potential tailings locations have commenced and will lead into a pre-feasibility study in 2008. Environmental baseline studies have commenced as part of the permitting process and will be incorporated into an Environmental Impact Statement expected to be submitted in 2010. First concentrate production could occur in 2014 if the development schedule proceeds as planned.  

Diamond drilling at Izok lake

High Lake

Location Nunavut Canada
Ownership 100%
Mine Type Open Pit / Underground
Ore Body Type Volcanogenic hosted massive sulphide (VHMS)
Primary Metals Copper and zinc
Mining Method Open pit and mechanised Underground Mining
Expected Mine Life 12 years +

High Lake is a volcanogenic massive sulphide deposit located within the Slave province's High Lake Greenstone Belt (HLGB). The HLGB extends 140 km south from the Coronation Gulf and varies from 5 to 30 kilometres in width. Numerous, copper, zinc, lead, gold and silver showings occur including the High Lake VMS deposit and the Ulu gold deposit.

Current resource defined 17.3 million tonnes grading 2.2% copper, 3.3% zinc, 70.0 g/t silver, and 1.0 g/t gold.

In 2006, 12 kilometres north of High Lake, the Sand Lake deposit, a near surface copper rich horizon with a strike length of 200 meters was delineated. Drill holes to date have returned grades of 3.29% copper over 15.05 meters and 2.71% copper over 21.0 meters

The draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was submitted to the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) in November 2006 and was accepted for a Part 5 Review in June 2007. This process is expected to take 12-18 months to complete. Zinifex's current plan is to develop High Lake once the Izok Lake development is completed with possible first concentrate production in 2016. In the meantime exploration will continue in the vicinity of High Lake to locate additional resources.

Nunavut Gold Project

The Nunavut Gold Project consists of the Lupin gold mine and the Ulu development project.

The Lupin deposit was discovered in 1960 and the underground mine began commercial operation in 1982. The mine operated continuously until 1998, then intermittently until 2004, producing 3.36Moz of gold (at an average grade of 9.3g/t Au). Gold mineralisation occurs in a folded banded iron formation of Archaean age.

Access to the ore body was by a decline to 1,530 metres and a shaft to 1,210 metres depth, with an internal shaft from 1,050 to 1,340 metres. Surface facilities include a 700ktpa milling facility, a 250 man capacity all weather camp, an 18.5KW powerhouse and a 1,950 metre compacted gravel airstrip with an instrument landing and navigation system and runway lighting.

At closure in early 2005 the then mine owners Kinross Gold Corporation calculated a remaining resource of 770kt @ 9 g/t gold. In December 2006 the remaining resource was estimated to be 1.1 million tonnes @ 11.3 g/t gold. Both these resource estimates have never been published previously should be treated as unofficial and 'historical'. Previous owners also identified a number of areas as having potential for additional resources and had plans to test these areas in 2007.

Lupin Mill

The Ulu satellite deposit, located 160km north of Lupin, has the potential to supply additional reserves to feed the Lupin mill. Ulu was discovered by BHP in 1989 and work to date has delineated a resource of approximately 1.1 million tonnes @ 11 g/t gold contained in a number of quartz veined shear zones. There is potential for more of these types of gold deposits to be found in the surrounding region.

Zinifex has initiated a study to evaluate strategic options for the Nunavut gold assets.


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For more information on potential partnership opportunities or details on these development projects please Contact Zinifex Exploration & Development.

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