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Initial drill results buoy American West Metals hopes in Canada

Updated: Mar 26

RC drilling underway at the 4100N zone at American West Metals’ Storm copper project. Credit: File

American West Metals has revealed immediate RC drill program success at its Storm copper project in Canada’s far north… with the promise of more to come.

The North American-focused company says the first four holes completed at its 4100N prospect all intersected thick visual copper sulphide intervals, confirmed to contain copper based on portable XRF analysis.

Its results range from 24.4m of strong visual copper sulphides from 48.8m at drill hole number one, to 30.6m of strong visual copper sulphides from 50.5m at its number four hole. The best figures were from hole number three with 48.7m from 54.8m.

American West is buoyed by the “excellent results” of its first holes, but the company cautions that visual estimates should never be considered a substitute for laboratory analyses to determine the presence and grade of any contained mineralisation. It adds that the first batch of drill samples has been sent for laboratory analysis.

We are pleased to report that the recently commenced RC drilling at the Storm Copper Project is immediately producing excellent results. The first drill holes are highlighting the volume and scale of mineralisation as we had hoped, and the geophysics is suggesting that we haven’t hit the strongest zones yet. American West Metals managing director Dave O’Neill

The company announced in March the launch of a 10,000m RC and diamond drill campaign to define maiden JORC resources within Storm’s 4100N, 2750N and 2200N zones, which all enjoy high-grade copper mineralisation from surface.

The 4100N zone was the first to receive the drill bit and American West says 12 more holes are planned there and will be followed by drilling at the other high-grade copper targets. A moving loop electromagnetics survey has also begun at 4100N to help with drill targeting and has already identified two new strong untested conductors. American West says ongoing drilling will focus on targeting the new priority areas.

Storm lies within a 4145-square-kilometre land package that also includes the Seal zinc project on Somerset Island in the Canadian territory of Nunavut. Together, Storm and Seal constitute the Nunavut projects and are currently owned by Aston Bay Holdings.

American West became the project operator under an option agreement that also gives it the opportunity to acquire an 80 per cent interest in the Nunavut projects.

The area has undergone extensive historical drilling and two separate copper sulphide systems have been discovered with multiple near-surface high-grade copper zones identified at several target zones in drilling across 15sq km. The area’s best historical drill intercepts include 19m at 3.41 per cent copper from surface and 110m at 2.45 per cent copper from surface.

The strike of copper mineralisation is currently about 2.5km long, but American West believes there is excellent potential to increase the size of the mineralisation footprint as to date, there has been only limited drilling both at depth and beyond the known strike.

Management is hopeful that due to the shallow nature of the mineralisation and results from historical drilling, the 4100N zone could hold a significant resource base that would enable an initial low-cost, open-pit mining operation.

Such an outcome would be music to the ears of copper buyers looking for new sources of supply to counter the strongly rising demand for the metal in China that has raised prices. Singapore-based trading house Trafigura recently predicted copper could surpass the US$10,845 (AU$16,365) a tonne peak achieved in March last year and possibly hit US$12,000 (AU$18,100) a tonne.

Goldman Sachs agrees, with its global head of commodities research Jeffrey Currie saying: “Like oil in the 2000s, you’ve got to absolutely love copper in the 2020s.”

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