Eagle Mountain has embarked on its goal of increasing copper resources at its flagship Oracle Ridge project in Arizona with underground drilling now underway.

It follows the completion of initial refurbishment work at the underground mine, which besides establishing 13 drill stations to allow for both upgrade and metallurgical drilling to occur, also provides access for technical studies.

Underground drilling is expected to be far more efficient than drilling from surface due to shorter hole lengths and reduced impact from weather events with Eagle Mountain Mining (ASX:EM2) noting that it will drill 17 holes from the first drill station.

The company will prioritise drilling aimed at upgrading existing Inferred and Indicated Resources into higher confidence Indicated and Measured Resources respectively.

Specifically, it will focus on those areas which are expected to be mined in the first five years of potential production with the additional confidence expected to assist in technical and economic studies.

“With the completion of the initial underground refurbishment at Oracle Ridge, we are now ramping up the underground activities,” chief executive officer Tim Mason said.

“It is unique to access in-situ mineralisation compared to drill core and we are committed to make the most of this significant advantage.

“We have also recently commenced an extensive wall mapping program targeting approximately 4 kilometres of mineralisation exposed underground.”

This work, which is expected to take several months to complete, will generate high-quality underground geological maps and semi-continuous samples across the exposed mineralisation.

It will allow the company to better understand small scale grade variability, assess the representativity of the existing resource estimate and identify suitable areas for additional metallurgical work such as bulk sampling.

Oracle Ridge

Oracle Ridge is a previously producing underground mine with a current Resource of 16.5Mt at 1.45% copper, 15.1 grams per tonne (g/t) silver and 0.19g/t gold, or contained Resources of 240,000t of copper, 8Moz silver and 102,000oz gold.

It is located less than two hours’ drive from Tucson and just half an hour from the mining town of San Manuel.

The project benefits from some 18km of existing underground development and extensive local infrastructure.

Metallurgical, environmental and permitting activities are currently ongoing and the company has appointed Bob Jacko as its technical studies manager to supervise and coordinate the ongoing technical and permitting activities designed to progress the project towards economic studies later in 2023.

Jacko was previously responsible for the technical and economic studies and permitting at Sandfire Resources’ (ASX:SFR) Black Butte copper project in Montana.




This article was developed in collaboration with Eagle Mountain, 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.