American West has scored a coup with the upcoming appointment of former Western Areas managing director Daniel Lougher as its chairman.

Lougher, a highly regarded mining executive with more than 40 years’ experience in the resources sector across exploration, project development and mining, will join the board as a non-executive director from 9 November 2022 before becoming the non-executive chairman from 1 February 2023.

Having led Western Areas from 2012 to a leading independent nickel producer in Australia prior to its takeover by IGO earlier this year, his appointment is a strong endorsement of American West Metals’ (ASX:AW1) growth strategy for its advanced copper and zinc exploration and development projects in North America.

Highlighting his strong skill set, Lougher managed the construction of the Flying Fox mine and Cosmic Boy concentrator, led the feasibility activities for the Spotted Quoll open pit and underground mine, as well as construction of that mine and all associated infrastructure.

He also initiated a growth phase in Western Areas in 2015 with the strategic acquisition of the Cosmos Nickel Operations and negotiated the market-leading offtake sale arrangements for Western Areas including the development of a full logistical chain for the sale of offtake to domestic and international buyers.

Current chairman John Prineas will assume the role of non-executive director from 1 February.

“We are very pleased to have attracted someone of Dan’s calibre to the American West Metals team. His appointment is anendorsement of our growth strategy and testament to the outstanding opportunity ahead as we rapidly progress our advanced copper and zinc assets,” managing director Dave O’Neill said.

“We are confident that his experience and successful track record in project development, mine construction and corporate growth will provide great value to the Board of American West and our shareholders.

“Dan’s decision to join American West endorses our view of the potential at our North American projects to deliver more significant discoveries as well as robust mining proposals for the development of new mining operations.”

Lougher added that the company had established a quality portfolio of projects in excellent jurisdictions and that work completed to date – particularly the exceptional drill results at Storm and West Desert – underscored their compelling exploration and development potential.

“I am excited about joining American West Metals at this pivotal time when there is a clear opportunity to significantly advance the projects and create substantial shareholder value,” he added.


Recent activities

Just last week, the company reported that metallurgical test work on the near surface and sulphide ores at West Desert in Utah returned high recoveries of zinc (89.9%) and copper (78%) using sulphuric acid leaching.

This de-risked the project and increased the available resource tonnages, which in turn allowed American West to develop a staged mining strategy that includes both open pit and underground operations.

Future work will focus on optimising the metal extraction processes further and defining a maiden JORC resource for the project.

Over at its Storm project on Somerset Island, Nunavut, initial assays from drilling have uncovered a potentially significant discovery of sediment hosted copper and zinc sulphide mineralisation below the near-surface high-grade deposits at the project.

While assays are still pending, the discovery hole is associated with a series of untested large and coincident geophysical anomalies identified across a zone that extends for more than 5km, indicating the potential for a large-scale sedimentary copper system at depth.


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