• Drilling has extended coverage of near-surface, high-grade copper at American West’s Storm Project 
  • Lightning Ridge intercept proves that high-grade copper is present in unexplored area between the 2200N and 2750N Zones 
  • Drilling at 2200N Zone confirms copper grades and resource potential across 450m of known strike 
  • Further assays pending, work continues on development and resource estimation studies 


American West has expanded the footprint of near-surface mineralisation at its Storm project in Canada after drilling returned high-grade copper intercepts at the Lightning Ridge prospect and the 2200N Zone.  

Storm has been a standout copper project since American West Metals (ASX:AW1) entered into an option agreement to acquire the project on Somerset Island, Nunavut, from TSXV listed Aston Bay Holdings in March 2021. 

Electromagnetics have thus far proven their ability to guide exploration, resulting in multiple, high-grade copper hits – including a highlight 110m intercept grading 2.45% copper from surface. 

More recent intercepts have convinced American West, which recently moved to 80% ownership of the project, that Storm hosts a large, high-grade copper system. 

Results to date have indicated that the project has clear geological similarities to many of the world’s major sediment-hosted copper systems such as the Kalahari Copper Belt in Botswana and Central African Copper Belt in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

These copper deposits typically have metre scale thicknesses and kilometre scale strikes of the ore zones. 

Commercialisation could occur sooner rather than later after preliminary test work on the near-surface mineralisation has already produced a direct shipping ore with grades of up to 53% copper. 

Studies for a potential mining operation at Storm are underway including resource modelling and estimation, beneficiation test work, environmental assessment, and operation logistics. 

Adding further interest, drilling has also discovered a major sedimentary copper system at depth that is associated with large +1km geophysical anomalies. 

 Plan view showing known copper prospects and interpreted footprint for the near-surface copper mineralisation. Pic: Supplied (AW1). 


Building scale 

 Drilling has now indicated that the already substantial near-surface copper mineralisation at Storm covers even more ground than previously known. 

At the Lightning Ridge prospect, a drill hole has returned intercepts of:  

  • 15.2m intercept grading 2.3% copper from a down-hole depth of 30.5m including two 1.5m zones at 4.5% copper from 32m and 44.2m; and 
  • 15.2m at 2.1% copper from 77.7m including 1.5m at 7.6% copper from 77.7m. 

Importantly, the results confirm the presence of high-grade copper in a previously unexplored area between the 2200N and 2750N Zones, which highlights outstanding exploration and growth potential. 

This potential is further underscored by the largely untested prospective structures that host the high-grade copper mineralisation at Thunder and Lightning Ridge extending for more than 10km. 

Meanwhile, drilling at the 2200N zone, which remains open in all directions, has confirmed the continuity of mineralisation over an east-west strike of 450m after returning intercepts of 29m at 1.5% copper from 4.6m and 3m at 2.8% copper from 53.3m in a single hole. 

“This year’s drilling program continues to impress with high-grade, near-surface copper mineralisation now confirmed at the Lightning Ridge prospect and 2200N Zones at the Storm project,” Managing Director Dave O’Neill said. 

“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.  

“The latest results are an excellent outcome as we continue to demonstrate the potential for a camp scale copper mining opportunity within the Storm Project.” 


More assays to come 

 American West is currently awaiting assays for the remaining drill holes from its 2023 program as well as assays for rock and gossan samples from the Tempest area. 

It is also continuing ore sorting, beneficiation, and process optimisation studies on a range of ore types from the 2750N and 4100N Zones along with resource modelling and estimation work for the Storm Project. 

Other activity includes compiling a report on the Storm Project’s summer environmental program whilst logistics and exploration planning for 2024 has begun. 


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.