Eagle Mountain Mining is ready to go underground, bringing forward plans to explore the hidden secrets at its giant Oracle Ridge Copper Project in Arizona, USA.

Incredibly, Oracle Ridge hides almost 20 kilometres of existing underground development, accessed from two portals – with more than 90% of the existing mine accessible.

The company says drilling from underground not only saves time and money, it improves access for studies – with shorter drill holes expected to reduce hole length by around 40%-60% compared to surface drilling.

It also means there’s less disruption from weather that has previously impacted drilling productivity.

Better access to the orebody

Drilling from underground would allow faster upgrading of the mineral resource estimate to increase the measured and indicated resource categories.

“Drilling from underground will be a massive step-change for our exploration and move us closer to feasibility studies,” Eagle Mountain Mining (ASX:EM2) CEO Tim Mason says.

Mason, among an experienced new breed of CEO’s with deep metals expertise, says Eagle is very fortunate to have an existing, developed underground mine in top nick and in the right spot to continue to build and upgrade our Mineral Resources.

“We don’t need to de-water the mine to access the drill sites and rehabilitation is expected to be relatively minor.

“Along with drilling shorter holes, it also enables better access to the orebody for taking bulk samples for metallurgical test work for optimisation of processing design and recoveries,” Mason adds.

The updated JORC MRE is on track for release in March 2022, with a further MRE update is planned to be completed during Q4 2022.

Eagle Mountain
Pic: Section view showing planned drill holes from existing underground development – with existing Mineral Resource outline shown in orange and brown.

Potential underground drill drive

Mason told Stockhead, the underground mine also provides access for a potential future drill drive to target the Talon area where multiple strong drilling results have been received.

The Eagle has landed

Surface drilling will continue, however will be reduced to two drill rigs to allow some assay backlog to be cleared.

“Given the large number of assays pending (56 holes), results will continue to be received whilst we recommission the underground mine,” Mason said.

“With the reduction of one drill rig and the recommissioning of the mine, we do not expect a significant impact on our rate of expenditure.

“However, it is setting us up for the future with drill platforms to efficiently build out the resource and potentially install a drill drive to the south into the Talon zone which is growing with almost every drill hole.

“This transition to underground drilling is an exciting advancement for Eagle Mountain Mining as we work towards a preliminary feasibility study commencing later this year.“




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