In Guatemala, Central America
Firestone Ventures has first mover status and is the dominant land holder in a historical zinc-lead-silver mineral belt extending for 250 km across Guatemala, Central America. Very little modern exploration has taken place in the carbonate belt despite the historical mining of numerous oxide and suphide zinc occurrences on surface.
The first of several compelling zinc occurrences, the Torlon Hill zinc-lead-silver project in western Guatemala, has preliminary 43-101 compliant resources defined from 105 drill holes totalling 8,591 metres of drilling to date. A total of 330 million pounds of zinc, 114 million pounds of lead and 978,000 ounces of silver has been defined. The deposit is on or near-surface and open for expansion.
A second zinc drill target, the Quetzal property in central Guatemala was drilled in 2010. Several high-grade intercepts including 10 m grading 20.0% zinc, 1.2% lead and 13.9 g/t silver were defined. Regional exploration in the central Guatemala zinc belt is a focus for 2011 field crews and several potential zinc drill targets are currently being sampled and under evaluation.
Zinc is vital for healthy growth in children and is a key component of the micronutrient powder and zinc tablets supplied through organizations such as UNICEF and WHO to help combat contaminated drinking water, poor sanitation and acute diarrhea in needy areas ofGuatemala and other countries. Zinc is found in many foods, such as broccoli, and is used as an additive for plant fertilizer and animal feed.
Zinc's most important industrial use is to protect steel from corrosion (galvanizing) to make it last longer. Zinc is used in infrastructure construction of buildings and bridges and in automobile manufacturing (each automobile uses 40 pounds of zinc). Zinc is also used in everyday household objects such as pails, shovels, door handles, and batteries.
Zinc prices are expected to increase due to increased demand as infrastructure spending expands combined with the closure of several key zinc mines.
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