American West’s first exploration hole at the West Desert project in Utah has intersected a new mineralised zone that could be a lookalike of the existing deposit.

Exploration diamond hole WD22-19, which was designed to test a strong magnetic anomaly that has the same geophysical signature as the West Desert deposit, intersected wide intervals of magnetic skarn mineralisation about 250m southwest of the existing resource envelope.

This supports American West Metals (ASX:AW1) belief that lookalikes of its flagship deposit are present across the broader project and confirm the outstanding opportunities for resource growth.

“We are extremely excited by the results of the first exploration drill hole to be completed by AW1 at West Desert,” managing director Dave O’Neill noted.

“The visual observations and portable XRF results indicate broad zones of zinc, copper, silver and molybdenum mineralisation, and confirms that our interpretations about the geophysical targets – including potential West Desert lookalikes – are correct.

“This has huge implications for the exploration upside and potential to extend the known West Desert Deposit, with a number of large magnetic and gravity features in the pipeline for drill testing.”

Earlier resource definition drilling had already provided the geological information and material required for metallurgical test work and the estimation of a maiden JORC resource for the deposit.


Deep Zone lookalike

WD22-19 was drilled to a downhole depth of 628.5m and was pushed beyond the planned depth due to the presence of continuing strong visual skarn/carbonate replacement deposit mineralisation.

This is similar to the Deep Zone at the West Desert deposit, with magnetite rich stratiform banding hosted within layered dolomite and marble.

American West added that over 190m of skarn and CRD-style mineralisation was intersected from a depth of 350m with portable XRF readings highlighting a significant volume of elevated zinc, copper and silver mineralisation with a number of higher-grade zinc and copper zones.

A large amount of brittle faulting and brecciation was observed in the drill core, supporting the interpretation that faulting has played a role in potentially offsetting large blocks of mineralisation at West Desert.

Forward program

The company expects to receive further assay results from the completed 2022 drilling over the coming weeks.

It will also schedule further exploration drilling to follow up the new discovery zone and to test other high priority targets.

Targets include eastern extensions to the West Desert resource and a number of other West Desert ‘lookalike’ geophysical targets within the district.


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.