4100N Zone centre of the Storm as American West flies out of the gate with pivotal maiden resource
Special Report: American West Metals has released the long-anticipated maiden resource estimate (MRE) for its Storm copper-silver project at Somerset Island, Nunavut, Canada.
The Storm project covers a whopping 4,000km2 within the Tier 1 Polaris minerals district in Canada with strong government support for critical minerals projects, including copper.
The MRE covers the Storm project area across four prospects and totals 17.5Mt @ 1.2% copper and 3.4g/t silver (0.35% copper cut-off) for 205,000t of contained copper and 1.9Moz of silver.
American West Metals (ASX:AW1) notes the Storm MRE covers less than 5% of the total project footprint and says it’s now planning a significant exploration program to investigate across its tenure to prove up more shallow, high-grade copper-silver mineralisation.
The Storm MRE includes data from 50 RC and 53 diamond holes, 52% of which were completed during the 2023 field season.
The four high-grade, indicated and inferred, copper-silver deposits that make up the Storm mineral resource: Cyclone (4100N Zone), Chinook (2750N Zone), Corona (2200N Zone) and Cirrus (3750N Zone).
Plan view of the Storm project. Pic: Supplied (AW1)
Encouragingly, all zones deposits that make up the Storm project remain open for further exploration so AW1 can increase the Storm MRE.
Meanwhile, the Thunder (48.6m @ 3% copper in ST23-03), Lightning Ridge (15.2m @ 2.3% copper and 15.2m @ 2.1% copper in ST23-52) and Cyclone North (7.6m @ 1% copper in ST23-55) prospects have not yet been included in the MRE and will also be a major part of this year’s drilling.
There’s also the Gap prospect – a 4km stretch between the Corona and Cirrus deposits where multiple drill holes have intersected high-grade copper sulphides of up to 1.5m @ 4.4% copper and 9.8g/t silver from 39m.
AW1 says the project is coming together as a potential copper mining camp with multiple deposits already defined and numerous large targets to be tested in 2024.
These include six near-surface, high-priority EM anomalies where there has been a 100% correlation between geophysical anomalies and high-grade copper sulphides.
AW1 says Storm is a potential ‘belt scale’ project with less than 5% of the 100km-long prospective copper bearing horizon within the tenure has been drill tested, including the Tempest prospect which has an identified 4km-long copper-zinc gossan identified at surface.
A major drilling program is planned for 2024 to significantly expand the mineral resource and to test the Storm area as well as other discoveries and regional exploration targets.
Map of the Storm project area with identified deposits. Pic: Supplied (AW1)
AW1 managing director Dave O’Neill says the initial resource is blessed with outstanding and immediate growth potential.
“The maiden resource estimate for the Storm project has exceeded our expectations and has delivered the foundations to what we believe will be a globally significant copper district,” he says.
“Within only a single season of resource drilling we have rapidly defined four robust copper deposits at, or very close to surface: Cyclone, Chinook, Corona, and Cirrus.
“The setting and scale of the mineralisation gives us the opportunity to potentially mine 100% of the resource with open-pit methods and use cut-off grades much lower than underground deposits. The outcome is more copper metal.
“A major drilling program has been planned to drill out the 2023 discoveries, expand the known deposits and test new, high-priority exploration targets that appear to be analogues to the known copper mineralisation.
“Work is also underway on the Canadian NI 43-101 compliant MRE, which will also be released soon.
“The maiden JORC MRE has underlined the exceptional opportunity presented by Storm to create further significant value for American West Metals shareholders.”
There’s now six highly prospective prospects (Chinook, Corona, Cirrus, Thunder, Lightning Ridge, and The Gap) across the southern graben fault line and all are at or close to surface.
Since they’ve only been tested down to 100m depth, upcoming exploration drilling will look to expand the search space deeper and along strike within the vast fault network, as well as test the existing high-priority EM targets in the area.
Further EM surveys will be conducted this year to extend the coverage outside of Storm and into the Blizzard and Tornado areas with the potential for discovery of additional targets, both in the near-surface and at depth.
In parallel, drilling and further metallurgical work will be conducted against other existing and new regional targets.
AW1 will hold an investor webinar and live Q&A on Wednesday 31 January at 10am AWST/1pm AEDT. Participants can register here.
This article was developed in collaboration with American West Metals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.