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American West Metals primed for drill attack on Canadian copper

Updated: Mar 26

Core from copper drilling at American West Metals’ Storm project in Canada. Credit: File

American West Metals is set to launch a new drill attack and smash into an exploration and resource expansion program at its Storm copper play on Somerset Island, within the Canadian territory of Nunavut.

After recently boosting its cash holdings by $10 million, it expects the drill program to begin next month, with about 22,000m of reverse-circulation (RC) and diamond drilling planned.

Management says it will focus on expanding its existing mineral resource of 17.5 million tonnes going 1.2 per cent copper and 3.4 grams per tonne silver, comprising a total metal content of 205,000 tonnes of copper and 1.9 million ounces of silver.

The company delivered its maiden mineral resource in January this year and it says 30 per cent is classified in the higher-confidence indicated category. It rates the project as potentially a low-cost and high-margin operation within a globally-significant copper district.

Management says the drilling will assist with defining resources at known high-grade discoveries such as the Thunder prospect where an eyebrow-raising hit of 48.6m at 3 per cent copper was recorded. Other prospects set for further drilling include Lightning Ridge, where a 30.4m intersection hit 2.2 per cent copper and The Gap, which produced hits of 1.5m at 4.4 per cent and 2m going 2.5 per cent.

American West says its Cyclone North prospect recorded an intersection of 7.6m at 1 per cent copper and of particular interest is a newly-defined anomaly that is immediately to the south of the deposit.

The anomaly is interpreted to be at a deeper stratigraphic level to Cyclone and covers an area about the same size as the known mineralisation. The company says it is in an area with no previous drilling and may represent a southern, offset extension to the Cyclone copper mineralisation.

The drilling this year will aim to immediately build the copper inventory around the known deposits and high-grade prospects, and to explore the emerging, large-scale sedimentary copper system. The expansion of the exploration into these areas along this trend will aim to demonstrate the belt scale opportunity that exists at the Project. American West Metals managing director Dave O’Neill

The company will also drill-test high-grade zones along strike and below existing deposits and discoveries, in addition to exploring along a prospective copper belt more than 100km in length.

Management says recent geophysical electromagnetic (EM) surveys show the potential for further high-priority targets, with the highly-promising Blizzard, Tornado and Tempest prospects to be drill-tested after being found to host many areas of outcropping copper. It says EM anomalies that have been tested in the Storm area have a 100 per cent connection with the higher-grade, more than 2 per cent copper mineralisation.

The company recently raised $10 million, with O’Neill and fellow director Daniel Lougher revealing their intention to participate in the placement. It says the raise was oversubscribed, with some shares sold at a premium of up to 40 per cent using the flow-through shares (FTS) provisions under Canadian tax law.

American West is an Australian company focused on the discovery and development of major base metal mineral deposits in tier-one jurisdictions of North America. It says its portfolio of copper and zinc projects include significant high-grade resources that can generate strong proposals for mining.

An expansive drill program at its highly-touted project, coupled with copper’s expected increase in demand to help fuel a renewable energy future, may just create the perfect storm for American West.

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