Eagle Mountain Mining has lit up its pathway to recommence mining at its Oracle Ridge copper project in Arizona with a massive 36% increase in resources.

In a nod to the success rate of Eagle Mountain’s (ASX:EM2) geology team, it took just 59 new holes to deliver the big lift in copper, silver and gold resources.

The new resource contains 17Mt at 1.48% copper, 15.09g/t silver and 0.17g/t gold for 251,000t of copper, 8.2Moz silver and 93,000oz in gold at a 1% cutoff.

Given copper prices are high and could rise further, lower grades could become economic in the future as well.

At a 0.8% cut-off Eagle Mountain has a total of 26Mt at 1.28% copper, 13.06g/t silver and 0.15g/t for 332,000t of copper, 10.9Moz of silver and 127,000oz of gold, a 53% increase in tonnage and 32% increase in contained copper on the 1% cutoff.

“Our first MRE update is a significant milestone on the pathway to recommence mining at Oracle Ridge,” Eagle Mountain CEO Tim Mason said.

“These results demonstrate the growth potential of our Resource and we are confident that further drilling will continue to build tonnes and improve quality.

“We have expanded the Resource tonnes by more than 39% by adding only 59 holes to the 529 holes drilled by previous owners. I consider this an excellent return on investment.

“We see even more growth potential with some very strong results already received which are not included in this MRE.”

Measure by measure

Significantly, Eagle Mountain has released its first ever measured JORC resource of 2.1Mt. That’s the kind that can be calculated into ore reserves for mining studies.

More infill drilling is planned to enhance this ahead of future feasibility studies.

Eagle Mountain has already drilled an additional 60 holes since the ones included in the resource update.

There is plenty of blue sky there. Results not included in the current resource include 15m at 4.1% copper, 30.7m at 2.54% copper and 38.1m at 1.97% copper, with healthy silver and gold readings.

The reopening of existing underground drives will also be a step change in resource definition, with shorter hole lengths to cut drilling times and costs.

Eagle Mountain
Eagle Mountain has reported its first measured resource. Pic: Eagle Mountain

“Today we are declaring our first Measured Resource category; the highest level of confidence under the JORC Code and a requirement to declaring a Proven Reserve after completion of a feasibility study,” Mason said.

“More infill drilling will be undertaken with the aim to further increase the size of the Measured and Indicated Resource. We are planning to re-open the existing mine to enable drilling from underground.

“This will be far more efficient compared to surface drilling due to shorter hole lengths and it also enables various bulk samples required for metallurgical test work and other studies.”

Eagle to keep flying 

While Eagle Mountain has already placed 20,794m of new drilling data in the updated resource, it has plenty more to add.

Assays have only been received for 11 of the additional 60 holes drilled since October 2021, with more drilling on the way.

Surface drilling is focusing on expanding the resource tonnage and testing near mine targets, particularly with potential for discovering new mineralised areas at the OREX target.

A new resource update, looking to expand Oracle Ridge even further, is due in the fourth quarter.

“This year, we plan to keep building and upgrading our resources to provide a critical mass to underpin future feasibility studies,” Mason said.

“We have already drilled 60 holes which will be included in the next JORC MRE planned to be undertaken later this year. I expect that we will have over 100 new holes in that update, which is about double the number of new holes compared to this update.

“In addition, we plan to drill other prospective targets, such as OREX and Golden Eagle which have the potential to add further tonnes to the overall Oracle Ridge Project. We look forward to the next planned MRE update in late 2022.”

Eagle Mountain
Plenty more resources are waiting to be found at Oracle Ridge. Pic: Eagle Mountain

Next steps

Planning is everything and Eagle Mountain has compiled a comprehensive one to ensure it grows its resources further by the end of the year.

Eagle Mountain says resource extension drilling will focus on the Talon, western mine and northeastern mine area.

Drilling at OREX will also target additional skarn-hosted mineralisation at the low Leatherwood-Sediments.

The re-establishment for underground access will also be important, allowing for more high density drilling to classify more of the resource in the measured and indicated categories which can be converted into reserves.

It will also enable the collection of bulk samples for test work to assess the best processing options for Oracle Ridge’s ore.




This article was developed in collaboration with Eagle Mountain Mining, 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.