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Alba Mineral Resources shares advance on Irish zinc JV with Teck

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Shares in micro-cap explorer Alba Mineral Resources (LON:ALBA) shot up 40 per cent today after it sealed an exploration joint venture with Canadian mining firm Teck Resources (TSE:TCK).

Through the deal Teck has an option to acquire a 75 per cent stake in Alba’s zinc and lead exploration assets in the Limerick basin, in county Limerick, Ireland.

Teck will spend $400,000 on exploration over a four year period to earn its stake in the assets.

Initial exploration work will begin next year with ground geophysics and soil geochemistry programmes. Alba said that a diamond drilling may also be possible next year.

On AIM this morning Alba shares gained 0.225p, about 20 per cent, to trade at 0.8p a share. At the current market price the company is worth £600,000.

Ireland hosts Europe’s largest zinc mine, the Tara mine which is operated by Swedish firm Boliden. Approximately 2.6 million tonnes of zinc and lead concentrate is produced at the Tara mine each year. The mine is located near Navan, county Meath.

There is notable interest in zinc projects in Limerick at the moment and Teck is already developing the nearby Stonepark project alongside Connemara Mining (LON:CON).

Additionally Xstrata is also developing a mine in Limerick. Earlier this year the FTSE100 constituent bought out its AIM-listed joint venture partner Minco (LON:MIO) to take full control of the Pallas Green project.

The deal in July saw Minco sell its 23.6 per cent stake in the project for US$19.4 million.

Quick facts: Alba Mineral Resources PLC

Price: 0.12 GBX

AIM:ALBA
Market: AIM
Market Cap: £4.49 m
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