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Buxton unearths “game-changing” copper-moly find in Arizona

Outcrop from Buxton Resources’ Sun Devil prospect. Credit: File.

Buxton Resources says it has seen intense porphyry style veining along with evidence of copper mineralisation in outcrop at its 100 per cent owned Sun Devil prospect in Arizona.

The prospect is part of the company’s larger Copper Wolf project and remains undrilled but has historic rock chips as high as 76,800 parts per million (ppm) copper and 93ppm molybdenum and may be part of a larger hydrothermal system prospective for copper-molybdenum style mineralisation according to the company.

Sun Devil is about 5km from a diamond drillhole that nailed a massive 405.38m intercept at 0.7 per cent copper equivalent from 608.38m during Buxton’s maiden drilling program at the project.

The impressive intersection sits below a previous drillhole that returned 83.76m grading 0.9 per cent copper equivalent from 527.91m, which the company says results in an aggregate section of about 485.85m going 0.73 per cent copper.

While the green-tinged outcropping rocks at Sun Devil look impressive, the prospect is yet to be tested by the drill bit, setting up a sense of anticipation in the market.

A series of seven rock chips taken from the project in 2006 by Lebon Gold averaged 1.7 per cent copper and 40 ppm molybdenum beg the intriguing question – where did they come from?

Buxton’s ongoing geological reconnaissance continues to drive our expanding tenure footprint which in turn emphasises our growing confidence that the Copper Wolf Project is host to an enormous hydrothermal system and is a globally significant copper / molybdenum exploration play. We’ll be expanding our geological mapping and surface sampling efforts along with preparations to drill at Wolverine in anticipation of receiving permits mid-February. Buxton Resources chief executive officer Marty Moloney.

Earlier this month Buxton uncovered a shallow extension to the porphyry copper-molybdenum system at Copper Wolf – called Wolverine – just 2.5kms from the main mineralised body, with rock chip samples grading as high as 14.1 per cent copper and 1160ppm molybdenum.

Wolverine is about 7km from Sun Devil and Buxton says both prospects show alteration assemblages and vein styles that are visually similar and are typically highly leached. The company believes the rock types at both prospects imply the potential for a fertile porphyry system below, which may be up to about 7kms long stretching between Sun Devil and Wolverine.

Buxton says the Copper Wolf hydrothermal system may have developed across this area representing a serious scale exploration opportunity for porphyry copper-molybdenum style mineralisation.

Management says the 96 rock chips taken at Wolverine threw up some interesting geochemical results suggesting the highest copper and molybdenum grades are likely to be preserved below the surface. The field data will provide a focus for an upcoming scout drilling program at Wolverine to test the continuation of mineralisation at depth, with drill permitting already underway.

Management says Buxton staff are on the ground at Wolverine with Bureau of Land Management personnel in response to the company’s request to drill at the site. Drilling permits are expected to take no longer than three weeks to be issued given no material concerns were noted during the visit.

Earlier this month, Buxton showed its interest in the Copper Wolf area, pegging an additional 26 federal Lode Mining Claims and extending its footprint to about 41.2 square kilometres.

Copper Wolf sits in central Arizona about 80kms north-west of the city of Phoenix. The intrusive complex hosting the copper is mirrored in similarly aged rocks in adjacent parts of the western United States and northern Mexico which hold some massive copper deposits.

Resolution, which is about 130km south-west of Copper Wolf, is one such deposit and is considered to be one of the world’s biggest undeveloped copper resources ‑ estimated to have a mineral resource of 1.7 billion tonnes grading 1.52 per cent copper.

To the north of Copper Wolf, the Bagdad deposit is hosted within similarly aged rocks and the deposit has an estimated reserve of 873 million tonnes grading at 0.36 per cent copper.

Ex-operator Liontown had a crack at a mineral resource estimate for Copper Wolf in 2007, pinning an inferred total of 108 million tonnes at 0.8 per cent copper and 0.03 per cent molybdenum for 864,000 tonnes of contained copper metal, with 32,400 tonnes of molybdenum metal at a 0.4 per cent copper equivalent cutoff.

Buxton seems to be doing its best to mature the project towards its own resource estimate, with additional exploration targets like Sun Devil and Wolverine begging to see the drill bit. Expect plenty of news flow out of Arizona this year.

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