Rathdowney Resources (CVE:RTH) says it has been granted a third exploration concession in Poland, expanding its Olza zinc-lead property that now covers some 150 square kilometres in the prolific Upper Silesian Mineral District.
The Upper Silesian mining district of southwestern Poland is an area of extensive Mississippi Valley-type deposits in which zinc-lead mining has taken place since the 12th century.
The third concession, called Chechlo, covers 50.8 square kilometres and is next to the company's Rokitno concession.
It has been granted to Rathdowney's Polish subsidiary by the Ministry for the Environment for a period of five years, the company said late Thursday.
The Chechlo concession lies to the southwest of project Olza, for which the company earlier this month released a maiden NI 43-101 compliant resource, along the same "richly-mineralized" zinc-lead trend, Rathdowney said.
The concession has seen little exploration activity compared to other parts of the property.
The miner noted that during the 1950-1970s, the Polish State conducted limited diamond drilling of around 125 holes at a spacing of 200-400 metres over an area of roughly 18 square kilometres.
The majority of the Chechlo concession remains unexplored.
At Chechlo, three stratiform zinc-lead mineralized zones - Western, Northern and Central - are hosted by the Middle Triassic Dolomite unit known as the Ore-Bearing Dolomite, which hosts many mines in the Upper Silesian District and, importantly, the company said, mineralization at other parts of Olza.
Chechlo mineralization also occurs in Devonian carbonates underlying the Central zone, localized in one or several breccia pipes - which points to the possibility of finding additional mineralized breccia pipe systems that could be of significant size, Rathdowney said.
Indeed, historical drilling indicates grades of 5 to 9% zinc plus lead in the stratiform zones of variable thickness within locally-stacked mineralized horizons , at between 130 to 300 metres in depth.
"Higher-grade mineralization, for example 10% zinc plus lead over 30 metres, was also intersected, and may represent the mineralized breccia pipes, making them compelling targets," Rathdowney said in its statement.
The company is finalizing plans for a 5,000 metre drilling campaign on selected targets at Chechlo and other parts of the Olza project. It plans on using techniques such a geophysics to target shallow breccias and potential feeder structures, it said.
The ultimate aim is to expand the mineral resources at the Olza project, which the company recently defined in a NI 43-101 report.
At a 2.0 per cent zinc cutoff, these inferred mineral resources stand at 21.2 million tonnes grading 7.42 per cent combined zinc and lead - or 5.88 per cent zinc and 1.54 per cent lead.
The company said earlier this month that the mineralization within its first NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate at its Olza project averages about three metres in thickness.
"With a substantial positive initial resource under our belt, further value generation will occur by building both tonnage and grade," said president and CEO, John Barry.
"The acquisition of Chechlo gives us the opportunity to delineate significant high-grade zinc-lead resources that would positively impact the potential economics of the project."
The Olza project is near a state-owned zinc smelter complex that is expected to have additional smelting capacity when the Pomorzany mine in the region closes in the next three to five years.
The surrounding infrastructure at Olza, as well as the expected increase in zinc prices as supply wanes over the medium term, bodes well for Rathdowney Resources and the development of its Polish property.