Zinc mining company Trevali has started work on a 5km drilling operation at the Murray Brook deposit, located in the Bathurst Mining Camp of New Brunswick, Canada, and is expected to yield samples of high-grade zinc, lower grade zinc and high-grade copper.

An agreement was reached between Canada-based Trevali and mine owner Puma Exploration this March to drill nine holes into the basin to extract minerals. The companies agreed an exploration budget of C$1m for the area, three-quarters of which will be provided by Trevali.

In April, Puma commented on the agreement: “The Murray Brook Deposit, which comprises 484ha under mining lease 252, has a currently-defined measured and indicated mineral resource of 5.28 million tonnes average 5.24% zinc, 1.80% lead, 0.46% copper, 68.9g/t silver and 0.65g/t gold containing 610m pounds (Mlb) of zinc, 209Mlb of lead and 11.7m ounces of silver.

Fiver of the holes will enable workers to collect samples of zinc and copper and the other four will be used to stage a geotechnical survey of the hanging wall and footwall of the mine, to determine which type of operation would be most effective in the camp: open-pit, underground, or a combination of both. Some of these holes will be drilled deeper to examine other characteristics of the area, such as its depth.

The companies also plan to construct trenches on the eastern side of the deposit and have started discussions concerning future developments of the mine. They have also agreed to work together in the Restigouche-Armstrong Belt, a region of 32,000ha on the northern boundary of the Bathurst site.

Trevali’s value on the Toronto Stock Exchange has fallen 29% since the start of the year, bringing the company’s market value to C$892.35m. By expanding its developments in the New Brunswick area, where Trevali produced 79.9Mlbs of zinc and 30.9Mlbs of lead in 2017 at its Caribou project, the company aims to reverse this decline.