American West’s first deep diamond hole at its West Desert project in Utah has intersected multiple zones of high-grade copper, zinc, molybdenum and indium.

Notable results include 21.95m grading 1% copper, 0.33 grams per tonne (g/t) gold, 6.9g/t silver, 28g/t indium and 0.03% molybdenum from 306.31m, 32m at 4.43% zinc, 0.27% copper, 0.1g/t gold, 7.59g/t silver and 24.23g/t indium from 150.56m and 21.5m at 0.6% molybdenum and 23.4g/t silver from 758.46m.

The intersection of multiple lenses of high-grade mineralisation within broader halos of lower grade material highlight the quality and volume of mineralisation at the West Desert deposit.

Adding further interest for American West Metals (ASX:AW1), a number of these high-grade zones lie outside of the current resource on this drill section while the exceptional molybdenum mineralisation encountered at depth has highlighted the exploration potential of the porphyry system.

“WD22-01 has intersected multiple zones of high-grade copper, zinc and molybdenum mineralisation, and confirms the exceptional quality of the mineralisation at the West Desert Deposit as well as its outstanding growth potential,” managing director Dave O’Neill said.

“High grades of indium and silver are also present in these wide intersections, supporting the high value of the West Desert mineralisation.

“The assays confirm the initial visual observations, which is hugely exciting given the strong and continuous mineralisation encountered in the latest drill holes completed by American West and for which assays are pending.

“Overall we see thick intervals of copper and zinc within the Main Zone and Deep Zone, with encouraging new mineralisation identified outside of the current resource model.”

Assays from the current drill program will be used for estimating a maiden JORC compliant resource for the West Desert project.

“With zinc and indium listed as critical metals by the US Government, and prices for the metals in West Desert’s commodity suite at multi-year highs, the development potential of West Desert is a stand-out for investors looking for emerging opportunities,” O’Neill added.


Drill results

Hole WD22-01 was completed to a depth of 792.56m and encountered multiple thick zones of skarn and porphyry style mineralisation.

Assaying confirmed the high tenor of the strong sulphide mineralisation identified with several returning results that exceeded the visual estimate.

The first significant zone that was encountered is interpreted to form part of the Main Zone of the West Desert deposit and was intersected about 150m down-hole.

This interval of magnetite rich skarn contains two main zones of strong zinc and indium mineralisation within a 78m thick lower-grade halo.

Higher-grade intersections include:

  • 4m at 11.42% zinc, 0.53% copper, 0.26g/t gold, 14.66g/t silver and 48.23g/t indium from 150.56m, and
  • 18m at 8.66% zinc, 0.54% copper, 0.17g/t gold, 16.05g/t silver and 60.57g/t indium from 162.15m that highlight the broad and continuous nature of the ore body in this area.

The next major interval contains high-grade, copper rich mineralisation from a depth of 306m down-hole with higher-grade intersections of:

  • 45m at 3.5% copper, 0.85g/t gold, 38.83g/t silver, 81.6g/t indium, 0.14% molybdenum from 308.14m and;
  • 13m at 3.15% copper, 1.44g/t gold, 5.58g/t silver, 56.64g/t indium, 0.04% molybdenum from 314.08m

In the Deep Zone, further high-grade mineralisation was intersected, including:

  • 46% zinc over 1.68m from 512.95m and;
  • 6% zinc and 59.25g/t indium over 7.93m from 688.66m and ;2.9m @ 8.54% zinc, 1% copper and 1.56g/t gold from 709.08m

Last, but not least, the relatively unexplored molybdenum intersection is immediately adjacent to the quartz monzonite porphyry and has grades that are between two and three times higher in grade than typical molybdenum ores.


Further work

Assays for the remaining drill holes are pending with core processing continuing on site.

Drilling is also underway on the fifth hole, WD22-04, which targets the copper rich zones to the east of drill hole WD22- 01C.

This will be followed by a further resource definition hole, again targeting the copper rich zones.

American West will then proceed to exploration drilling, testing high priority West Desert ‘look alike’ geophysical targets that may represent offsets or adjacent ore bodies.


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.