Zeehan Zinc Slag Project, Western Tasmania

Zeehan Zinc Slag Project, Western Tasmania - Western Tasmania, Australia

Tartana Resources’ fully owned subsidiary, Intec Zeehan Residues Pty Ltd owns Mining Lease ML 3M/2017 located approximately 2.5 km south of the township of Zeehan in western Tasmania. This lease contains an old smelter site along with residue stockpiles of zinc-rich slag (See Figure 12).


Figure 12. Location of the Zeehan Zinc Slag Project on Mining Lease 3M/2017.

The Zeehan smelter operated intermittently from 1898 to 1948 recovering lead, silver and copper from the processing of locally mined ores and ore concentrates. However the technology at that time did not allow for the recovery of zinc and hence the zinc from the processed material ended up in relatively inert zinc slag heaps or dumps on site. Remnants of the smelter foundations and a tailings dump are also nearby and the area is reminiscent of the early mining and smelting operations.

In 1991, Pyrosmelt NL (Pyrosmelt) completed a study of the viability of retreating the
Zeehan slag dumps to produce zinc oxide.

Pyrosmelt (1991) completed 36 vertical air core drill holes on a nominal 20 m by 20 m spacing with samples collected at 1 m intervals down hole and analysed for zinc, lead and silver by Analabs in Tasmania. The 375 samples from the programme had an average grade of 13.6% zinc. The estimate was not completed to a JORC 2012 standard (For further explanation, see Section 5.6 for JORC 2012 Code Section 1 & 2 tables, pages 101-111 of the Replacement Prospectus dated 23rd April 2018).

Tartana Resources is investigating opportunities to monetise the zinc in the slag to provide working capital to finance our other activities. We also have the opportunity to improve the site in terms of its historical significance.

We have investigated a number of options which include:

  • Leaching the slag to recover the zinc. This includes leach testwork which has been carried out by Core Resources, and which demonstrates that high zinc recoveries are achievable in a leach process.
  • Slag sales to a third party processor in Europe. Samples have been collected and sent overseas for testing in a Waelz kiln in Europe.
  • Slag sales to local smelters. This has involved the collection of a 5,000 tonne bulk sample which has been trucked to the Port of Burnie. This bulk sample has been shipped to Nyrstar’s Port Pirie smelter in South Australia for trial processing (see Figure 12).

Your directors believe that the Company may be able to realise value for this material and this could involve the utilisation of a number of alternative processing routes.


Figure 13. The loading of the 5,000 tonne bulk sample for trial processing at Nyrstar’s
Port Pirie Smelter in South Australia (24 January 2018).

Your directors believe that the Company will be able to realise value for this material and this may involve the utilisation of a number of alternative processing routes at the same time.