Since initiating its 2022-2023 drill program Vancouver-based exploration and development company, Tinka Resources (TSX-V: TK), has completed 7,000 metres (across 21 holes) The Project of the 11,000-metre resource definition-expansion drill program is located 200 km northeast of Lima.

On Monday, the Company announced exceptional drilling results in the South Ayawilca region. Go to the Company’s Monday March 6th Press Release for extensive results.

Key highlights of recent South Ayawilca drill holes

  • Hole A23-212:
  • 145.2 metres at 10.9% zinc from 158.2 metres depth, including:
  • 29.3 metres at 20.2% zinc from 158.2 metres depth, and
  • Hole A22-208:
  • 4.6 metres at 32.4% zinc from 105.2 metres depth; and
  • 9.9 metres at 9.7% zinc from 142.1 metres depth; and
  • Hole A22-206:
  • 37.8 metres at 10.5% zinc from 153.5 metres depth, including:
  • 23.4 metres at 15.2% zinc from 168.0 metres depth
  • Hole A23-215:
    • 5.2 metres at 11.2% zinc from 144.4 metres depth; and
    • 4.1 metres at 33.6% zinc from 190.0 metres depth have results pending.

True thicknesses of the mineralized intercepts are estimated to be at least 70% of the downhole thicknesses.

In depth drill results and discussion are available in Tinka’s Monday March 6th Press Release

Dr. Graham Carman, Tinka’s President, and CEO stated: “Hole A23-212 is without doubt, Tinka’s best hole at Ayawilca in terms of thickness and grade of the zinc mineralization. The hole intercepted a continuous zone of massive sulphide mineralization grading 11% zinc over an interpreted true thickness of approximately 100 metres. Next steps for the project, following completion of the drill program, include an update of the mineral resource estimates and the evaluation of alternatives to fast track Ayawilca towards development.”

Ayawilca has the potential to become the largest primary zinc producer in South America and one of the top 10 zinc producers globally, according to a preliminary economic assessment from October 14, 2021.

The latest drill results shared in a January 24 news release come from the West Ayawilca area of the project. Highlights include hole A22-207, which returned 6.77% zinc, 21 g/t silver, and 0.33% lead over 132.5 metres starting from 193.9 metres, including 11.48% zinc, 39 g/t silver, and 0.57% lead over 45.2 metres. This hole was designed to follow up on A22-200, which returned 12% zinc over 44.9 metres and remains one of the best intercepts drilled in this zone.

Another hole, A22-203, returned 8.27% zinc over 49.8 metres starting from 186.8 metres downhole.

These new drill results from West Ayawilca add to the confidence in our geological model and reaffirm the zinc grades within the limestones,” commented President and CEO Dr. Graham Carman in a news release. “The grade of the zinc mineralization is consistently high both within the basal limestone replacement zones and the overlying breccia‐hosted sulphide bodies…Several additional holes will further test the vertical and horizontal extents of the breccia‐hosted mineralization.”

Tinka previously reported drill results for hole A22-202 that intersected 20% zinc over 38.9 metres from 170.5 metres, including 42% zinc over 10.4 metres from 193.3 metres. Dr. Carman described this intercept as a “potential game changer” for the Ayawilca project, which hosts one of the most significant zinc-silver resources held by a junior company.

Based on a mineral resource estimate from August 2021, the project’s Zinc Zone holds indicated mineral resources of 19 million tonnes grading 7.15% zinc, 16.8 g/t silver, and 0.2% lead. Inferred mineral resources add 47.9 million tonnes grading 5.4% zinc, 20 g/t silver, and 0.4% lead. In addition, the Tin Zone has an estimated 8.4 million tonnes of inferred resources grading 1% tin.

Tinka is working on completing its drill program at Ayawilca, which is scheduled progress until April 2023. With two drill rigs on site – one at Ayawilca West and another at South Ayawilca – the project is being advanced with funding from a private placement that closed last year.

The company announced in May that it had raised $11.12 million in aggregate gross proceeds. Tinka issued more than 50 million common shares at $0.22 each. Nexa Resources, currently the largest zinc producer in Latin America, took part and now owns 18.2% of Tinka. Compañia de Minas Buenaventura SAA also participated and held 19.3% of the company’s outstanding common shares on a non-diluted basis.

Production at the Zinc Zone is expected to start in 2025. The underground mine is projected to have a 14.4-year mine life, producing 43.5 million tonnes at an average rate of 8,500 tonnes per day and a grade of 5.56% zinc, 14.5 g/t silver, and 0.20% lead.

With much upside production potential at Ayawilca, Tinka will undoubtedly help fulfill the growing demand for zinc, which has been identified as a critical mineral throughout North America.

Zinc is vital in keeping people healthy and achieving a low-carbon future. The metal is used in many sunscreens as it shields our skin from the sun’s UV rays. It is also used to coat structural materials, such as iron and steel, to protect cars, buildings, and solar panels from rust. The eco-friendly metal is 100% recyclable, and zinc’s lower melting point allows less energy to be used in its production than other metals, such as copper. 

Moreover, according to an article published by Future Market Insights, the global zinc oxide market is expected to reach US$7.3 billion by 2032, with a compounded annual growth rate of 6.4% from 2022 to 2032.

Tinka has designed a mine plan to minimize its environmental impact in preparation for future production. The company will use 40% of the tailings as underground backfill and dry stack tailings and use 100% of the waste rock.

In addition to implementing sustainable mining practices, Tinka is committed to maintaining positive relationships with its stakeholders and community partners. For the past ten years, the company has supported three rural communities near its Ayawilca project. Tinka invests in the health, employment, training, and education of San Pedro de Pillao, San Juan de Yanacocha, and Huarautambo communities. The company hopes its initiative will help generate economic growth in these communities.

Tinka also owns 100% of its Silvia project, actively exploring copper‐gold skarn mineral deposits. The 295-sq-km property was acquired in 2021 from BHP Peru and is owned by Tinka’s subsidiary, Darwin Peru SAC.

A trench sample from Silvia returned 46 metres grading 1.9 g/t gold and 0.8% copper, including 6 metres grading 12.8 g/t gold and 2.7% copper.

The project, for which a drilling permit is still pending, sits adjacent to Ayawilca and 80 km south of Antamina mine, one of the largest copper mines in Peru. The country ranks as the world’s second-largest copper producer after Chile, producing 2.2 million metric tonnes of metal in 2021.

With multiple projects strategically placed in a central mining hub, Tinka has the potential to make significant discoveries and continue returning impressive results. 

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Robert Santiago
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Robert Santiago

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