American West secures 80pc ownership of high grade, ‘belt scale’ Storm copper project, prepares to ramp-up exploration in 2024
American West has had a defining year at the Storm copper project with significant expansion of the near-surface high-grade copper as well as a breakthrough discovery of a deeper, regional sediment-hosted copper system and has now locked in 80% project ownership after completing its expenditure requirement.
Storm has been a success story for American West since it entered into an option agreement to acquire the project from TSXV listed Aston Bay Holdings in March 2021.
At the time, it was a promising, yet early-stage, copper project with several largely untested conductive anomalies throughout the prospect area.
Electromagnetics proved to be an effective tool for Storm, with surveys showing a clear relationship between known, outcropping copper mineralisation with EM anomalies identified by American West Metals (ASX:AW1).
Drilling of the aforementioned anomalies has returned multiple thick, high-grade copper hits – including a highlight 110m @ 2.45% Cu from surface – resulting in there now being over 40 hectares of high-grade copper mineralisation exposed at surface across Storm.
Recent summer drilling results at the project delivered high-grade, near-surface of up to 0.3m grading 42.8% copper from 67m within a broader 46m intercept at 2.2% copper from 64m.
This is the highest-grade result to date at the 4100N Zone, which along with results from the 2750N Zone highlights the outstanding resource potential at Storm.
Drilling has also extended prospective regional-scale copper systems by 2km to the west.
These shallow ores offer large scale open pit potential, with drilling currently underway at the 4100N, 2750N and 2200N Zones expected to culminate in maiden resource.
So far, the average mineralised interval thickness in drilling is 24m at a substantial average grade of 2.15% copper.
Further assays for the summer drilling program are expected regularly over the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, American West also made a breakthrough discovery of a major sedimentary copper system at depth.
This copper is associated with large +1km geophysical anomalies, which were previously untested.
American West’s ongoing diamond drill program is currently four-for-four, with all holes hitting thick visual copper sulphides in the sedimentary zone.
Assays are pending, but this is further evidence of a belt scale copper system, American West says.
Storm also hosts the high-grade Seal zinc-silver deposit that is a lookalike for the nearby Polaris zinc mine that was operated by Teck Resources for more than 22 years, however given recent success, the Storm copper project is the near term focus.
American West has now met the requirement to spend C$10m on exploration and has exercised the option to acquire 80% of the Storm project.
It will now form an unincorporated joint venture with Aston Bay.
“Building on the outstanding and ongoing success of the drilling and exploration programs at Storm, we are pleased to report that American West has now completed the earn-in for an 80% interest in the Storm project,” managing director Dave O’Neill said.
“This has been a defining year for the Storm project with significant expansion of the near-surface high-grade copper and a breakthrough discovery of the deeper, regional sediment-hosted copper system.
“Securing an 80% interest in Storm through the efficient and timely completion of exploration programs required under the option agreement is a fantastic outcome for the company and our shareholders.”
Under the new JV, American West plans to increase the resource and exploration programs at Storm with a ramp-up of activities during 2024.
Drilling planned for 2024 will aim to further expand the footprint of the copper mineralisation, particularly around the significant new discoveries at Thunder and Lightning Ridge, and along strike into the Tornado and Blizzard areas (see Figure 1).
The company will also carry out an extensive geophysical and drilling program to test the Tempest prospect – located about 40km south of known discoveries – for copper and zinc mineralisation.
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.