The potential of American West Metals’ West Desert deposit in Utah to help secure supply chains has been recognised by the US Federal Government.

The Utah Geological Survey (UGS) has received a $300,000 US Federal grant to study how the deposit formed, the deportment of the indium throughout the deposit and mineral district, and exploration indicators that may help find similar deposits in the future.

West Desert is known to host both zinc, which is essential for many metal alloys, and copper – one of the most important commodities for electric vehicles and efficient energy grids.

However, it’s the fact that American West Metals’ (ASX:AW1) project hosts the only established US-domestic resource of indium, a critical metal that is widely used in the defense, energy and telecommunications sectors, which is most likely the reason why the US government is so keen to have the project studied and understood.

Results from the study will be shared with the company as the research work continues, which is expected to assist both project development and exploration targeting.

UGS senior geologist Dr Stephanie Mills said the state government office was excited for the opportunity to study the unique geology of the deposit and learn more about why so many important critical mineral resources are concentrated here.

“This study is a great example of government and industry collaboration and knowledge sharing to further a common goal: understanding what domestic mineral resources we have and what we can learn from them towards finding future deposits,” she added.

American West managing director Dave O’Neill said the study recognised the unique characteristics of West Desert and its importance to the supply of critical and strategic metals in the US.

“West Desert is uniquely placed in the US as an exciting development opportunity with outstanding exploration upside.”


How west is West Desert?

The West Desert deposit is located 160km southwest of Salt Lake City, within the heart of the Sevier Orogenic Belt, which hosts the world class Bingham Canyon copper deposit and Tintic Mining District.

It currently has a non-JORC resource of over 59Mt that includes a higher grade core of about 16.5Mt grading 6.3% zinc, 0.3% copper and 33 grams per tonne (g/t) indium with what the company previously described as a very simple and well understood ore mineralogy with low levels of deleterious elements.

Metallurgical testwork on the near surface and sulphide ores have already returned high recoveries of zinc and copper.


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.