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Pilbara explorer Artemis Resources has upgraded resources by 30 per cent at a copper and zinc mine, close to its Radio Hill processing plant in the Pilbara.

The mine, called “Whundo”, now boasts a resource of 2.6 million tonnes grading 1.14 per cent copper and 1.14 per cent zinc for 30,266t copper and 30,289t zinc.

These copper and zinc resources are worth over $262 million and $112 million in gross revenue (before costs), respectively, based on current LME cash prices.

The stock gained 3 per cent to 18.5c in early Wednesday trade.

Artemis (ASX:ARV) — which hunts base and battery metals but is best known for its Pilbara gold efforts – inherited the historic Whundo mine as part of the $4m deal to buy Radio Hill in 2017.

The resource is split into oxide and sulphide ores – the shallow oxide resources are entirely new, Artemis chief Wayne Bramwell said.

The Artemis Resources (ASX:ARV) share price over the past year.
The Artemis Resources (ASX:ARV) share price over the past year.

Most of the copper ores mined today are oxide or sulphide ores, which require different processes to extract the metal.

Oxides, for example, need much more energy to achieve melting, so the solvent extraction and electrowinning (SX-EW) process – which uses acid to leach out the metals – is often used.

“The oxide grade of 1.75 per cent copper is tantalising and with this zone extending from near surface to about 40m below surface, Artemis is evaluating the integration of SX-EW processing at Radio Hill,” Mr Bramwell said.

The larger sulphide zone could provide additional blending source to supplement Artemis’ potential ‘company maker’ Carlow Castle cobalt, copper and gold project.