HISTORY

Pre ZincOx

The management of ZincOx was formerly with Reunion Mining plc, a British mining company dedicated to Africa. In 1997, Reunion farmed into Anglo American’s Skorpion zinc deposit in Namibia. The zinc at Skorpion occurred in clays and oxides that could not be upgraded into a saleable mineral concentrate. Anglo American were unable to find a viable processing route and so a farm-out to Reunion was agreed. Under the terms of this agreement Reunion could earn a 60% interest in the project by completing a bankable feasibility study and making a development decision.

Reunion carried out extensive drilling to provide representative samples for metallurgical testwork and at the same doubled the reserve to 20 million tonnes at about 10% zinc. Reunion’s concept was to build an integrated mine and refinery on site. Noel Masson, a former CEO of Union Miniere and metallurgist of international repute, joined Reunion to design a new flowsheet for Skorpion and he integrated solvent extraction technology provided by Technicas Reunidas into a new flowsheet. This flowsheet was extensively tested by a dedicated pilot plant which verified operating conditions and metal purity. A feasibility study was concluded for the development of the mine/electro-refinery which demonstrated that Skorpion could be among the lowest cost producers of metal in the world. Reunion fulfilled its earn-in and obtained a 60% interest in the project.

Skorpion Mine and Electro Refinery

Anglo American wanted to own 100% of the operation and it successfully bid for Reunion in 1999 (US$85 million).

ZincOx

The management team then set up ZincOx Resources to repeat the success it had enjoyed at Reunion by bringing to account non-sulphide zinc deposits. ZincOx decided not to become a technology supplier but rather wanted to be a principal in new developments. ZincOx expanded its team of zinc metallurgists and investigated every major non-sulphide zinc deposit.

Over the course of the next 10 years ZincOx were involved in two major non-sulphide zinc deposits, Jabali,in Yemen and Shaimerden in Kazakhstan. The development of the Jabali mine (US$260 million) was halted by lenders withdrawing support as a result of the deteriorating security situation. The Shaimerden deposit was sold to Kazzinc (Glencore) in 2003 for an initial payment and subsequent payments dependent on the zinc price, which together amounted to US$79 million.

By 2003, the company had completed it global search for suitable deposits and there were found to be relatively few that had the tonnage potential to support the development of an integrated mine and refinery. However, the management recognised Electric Arc Furnace Dust had great potential.

The technology for treating EAFD was reviewed and it was clear that none had the economics that would allow treatment without a significant subsidy from the steel mills. ZincOx set itself the challenge of finding a technology that:

1. Needed no subsidy
2. Had high metal recoveries
3. Created no solid waste

The Full Cycle technology fulfils these requirements.

The core technology behind the Full Cycle technology is the Rotary Hearth Furnace (RHF). This was developed first in South Korea (2012), creating two intermediate products. These intermediate products were found to be of exceptional quality that could allow their upgrading to value added products using simple well established equipment, thereby enabling the development of the Full Cycle plants, the first of which is under construction in Vietnam.