La Zarza is a large “massive sulphide”, polymetallic deposit containing significant copper, gold and zinc resources. It is located in the prolific Iberian Pyrite Belt, the home to well-known large-scale mining operations including Rio Tinto, Neves Corvo, Las Cruces and Aguas Teñidas. Historically, La Zarza was a significant open-pit and underground pyrite mining operation until closure in the early 1990s.
Previous investment in La Zarza by Ormonde was through a joint venture with the owner of the La Zarza mining concessions. Ormonde conducted major drilling programs and metallurgical studies on the La Zarza deposit, culminating in a feasibility study for an underground mining operation published in 2008. This feasibility study was based on a JORC (2004) Indicated Mineral Resource Estimate of 9.9 million tonnes grading 1.0% copper, 3.0% zinc, 1.6 g/t gold and 39 g/t silver, and found that the project, as envisaged at that time, did not provide sufficient financial returns to justify proceeding with development.
The project was also the subject of a joint venture with Antofagasta Minerals S.A. in 2009-2010 which established the potential for a larger, low grade copper resource base.
Ormonde’s La Zarza asset comprises:
- the critical landholding over the La Zarza deposit (210 hectares);
- data assets including the drillhole database, JORC resource block models and all feasibility study testwork, designs and models;
- 24 kilometres of diamond drill core.
The mining concessions for the project are held by Ormonde’s former joint venture partner.
Ormonde has held discussions with several parties, some ongoing, with a view to unlocking value for Ormonde shareholders at a time of positive trends in copper and gold price forecasts.