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American West Metals quietly building up copper Storm

American West Metals has delivered more shallow and high-grade copper results from its Storm project in the Canadian province of Nunavut, with peak assays including a 1.5m hit at 7.6 per cent copper from 77.7m.

The impressive hit came from a drillhole sunk at the company’s Lightning Ridge prospect, which recorded two separate intercepts of 15.2m grading 2.3 per cent copper from 30.5m and 15.2m going 2.1 per cent copper from 77.7m that included the peak assay of 7.6 per cent copper.

The shallower 15.2m hit included 1.5m reading 4.5 per cent copper from 32m and a second 1.5m section going 4.5 per cent copper from 44.2m.

Management says the Lightning Ridge results confirm the presence of high-grade copper in a previously unexplored area between its 2200N and 2750N zones and highlight the outstanding exploration and growth potential of the project.

Drilling results from 2200N zone have also been positive with a 29m hit at 1.5 per cent copper from just 4.6m, including 6.1m going 2.9 per cent copper from 4.6m and 6.1m grading 3 per cent copper from 25.9m. The company says 1425m of drilling at 2200N has confirmed mineralisation continuity in an east-west strike of 450m, indicating the potential for a significant volume of mineralisation, which remains open in all directions.

Historical drill holes at 2200N include 6.4m at 7.38 per cent copper from surface and 5.1m going 11.8 per cent copper from surface.

The assay results for Lightning Ridge have revealed new thick, high-grade copper zones that have potential to add significant volumes of potentially economic near-surface mineralisation at Storm. Our first ever drilling at the 2200N Zone has also confirmed high copper grades and significant resource potential across 450m of known strike. The 2200N Zone remains open at depth and laterally along the extensive fault network. American West Metals managing director Dave O’Neill

The company appears set to acquire an 80 per cent share of the Storm project from Aston Bay Holdings after completing its exploration spend requirement at the operation.

As part of an option agreement in 2021, American West was granted the chance to grab the commanding slice of the project once exploration expenditure of C$10 million (AU$11.475 million) was completed.

Management says the exploration spend was finalised during this year’s drill program and it then decided to exercise its option. An unincorporated joint venture (JV) between the two companies is now expected to be formed, with Aston Bay holding 20 per cent and American West talking the role of project operator.

Storm sits within a 4145-square-kilometre land package that also includes the Seal zinc project on Somerset Island. Together, Storm and Seal constitute the Nunavut projects.

Just last month, American West received assay results from the three exploration holes, with highlights showing a 76m hit at 2 per cent copper from 32.4m, including 48.6m grading 3 per cent copper from 32.4m and a 20m intercept going an impressive 6.2 per cent copper from 40.8m. The 76m section also included a 0.5m segment with the massive 49.6 per cent copper reading from 57.2m.

With assays from its recent drill campaign at Storm still pending and resource modelling and estimation work at the site continuing, American West could well be looking at a significant copper resource at a relatively shallow depth. Planning is already underway for the 2024 exploration program and the market will be keeping a close eye on what the company will deliver next.

And its timing could be perfect if a recent survey by the London Metal Exchange (LME) is anything to go by. At an event earlier this week, the LME canvassed attendees on which base metal was likely to have the most upside next year and found that copper was overwhelmingly the top prediction.

Copper got 53 per cent of votes in an informal poll at the seminar after a series of analysts presented their cases for each of the six base metals traded on the LME and steel. Tin came in second at 23 per cent, with others ranging between 4 and 9 per cent.

Now it remains to be seen whether copper is the sleeping giant.

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