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American West Metals hits eye-catching copper in Canada


American West Metals is continuing to drill at its Storm copper-silver project in Nunavut, Canada. Credit: File

American West Metals (ASX: AW1) says it likes what it sees in visual sulphide hits at the company’s Storm copper play in Canada after unveiling results of 16 holes drilled at its Cyclone deposit and Lightning Ridge prospect.


Management completed 4453m of reverse-circulation (RC) drilling at the site on Somerset Island in the Nunavut territory as it aims to upgrade and extend the Cyclone and Chinook deposits and define resources at its Lightning Ridge and Thunder prospects. It says visual results from the 16 holes have been received, with 14 others pending from drilling at the Thunder prospect and Chinook deposit.


Copper sulphide mineralisation was visible in all 16 holes received, with massive chalcocite outcropping at surface and in boulders at the base of a sizeable east-west-oriented gully at the Lightning Ridge prospect. Lightning Ridge sits south of the Chinook deposit and management believes the style of mineralisation is potentially fault-related, similar to the type seen at the nearby Chinook and Corona deposits.


Drilling hit 30.5m of visual copper within three zones from 57.9m and a further hole encountered 21.3m within three zones from 38.1m that included 5m of strong copper sulphides from 44m. Mineralisation has been defined at the prospect for more than 150m, with the potential for extensions likely due to thick intersections of visual copper in several outlying holes drilled.


Chalcocite is an important mineral as it contains high-grade copper up to 79.8 per cent with favourable metallurgical properties. Lightning Ridge is one of six known high-grade zones considered underexplored within the project across more than 10km of ground with prospective faults.


We have received the visual results for 16 of the recently completed drillholes and every drillhole has hit visual copper sulphides. This success rate is similar to which was achieved during last year’s drilling program, demonstrating the excellent consistency of copper mineralisation.
American West Metals Managing Director Dave O’Neill

Drilling at the company’s Cyclone deposit, that has a resource of 12.2 million tonnes at 1.2 per cent copper and 3.8 grams per tonne silver, hit it out of the park with all 13 infill-drilled holes showing visual copper.


American West’s aim is to upgrade the known resource from the inferred to the indicated category and to find additional mineralisation on the periphery and beyond Cyclone’s deposit ground. Extensional drilling outside the known resource intersected strong visual sulphides, indicating potential growth to the south-west, east and to the north of the deposit.


A drillhole 80m south-west of the deposit intersected 32m of strong visual copper from 85.3m, with chalcopyrite being the dominant mineral.


Management says the continuous copper hits should support an upgrade to existing resources. The Storm project has a mineral resource of 17.5 million tonnes at 1.2 per cent copper with 3.4g/t silver.


The company has plans for this year to conduct 20,000m of drilling. Two RC rigs remain on site testing resource expansion and several high-priority geophysical targets arising from previous campaigns.


A diamond drill rig has started drilling priority exploration targets in a bid to extend parts of the resource at depth. Management notes that several electromagnetic (EM) surveys will begin shortly within the immediate Storm area, before moving to the Tornado and Blizzard copper prospects.


Ongoing studies for optimising beneficiation processing methods are also continuing on a variety of ores from the Chinook and Cyclone deposits.


American West will now be eagerly awaiting the visual results for the 14 holes pending to ascertain if it can continue its perfect Canadian copper storm.


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