MRE update kicks off at Oracle Ridge to guide Eagle Mountain’s project development options
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Recent exploration by copper-focused Eagle Mountain Mining at its Oracle Ridge project in Arizona is so positive they’re now moving towards another upgraded Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) and ramping up technical evaluations for development.
The new MRE, now underway, will be based on extensive new knowledge gained from underground mapping and channel sampling, as well as incorporating all assays received from drilling since October 2022.
Currently, the MRE stands at 16.5 million tonnes (mt) at 1.45% Cu, 15.1g/t Ag and 0.19g/t Au for 240,000t contained copper, 8Moz contained silver and 102Koz contained gold.
EM2 CEO Tim Mason said the mineralisations discovered since then could present an opportunity for bulk mining or selective high-grade mining scenario assays, as contained metal at Oracle Ridge nearly doubles when moving from a 1.0% to a 0.60% Cu cut-off grade.
“This demonstrates a range of exciting options for future mining and processing with different combinations of grade and scale,” Mason said.
“Now is the time for us to change focus from exploration and resource building towards ramping up various technical evaluations that show the true potential at Oracle Ridge, including mining, processing, infrastructure and environmental, with the aim of moving towards development”.
Recent drilling and channel sampling completed since October 2022’s MRE uncovered multiple high-grade ‘haloes’ – wide intercepts that form rings around high-grade intercepts.
One wide intercept of 32.6m @ 1.10% Cu, 13.34 grams per tonne (g/t) Ag and 0.18g/t Au at 0.6% Cu cut-off grade included 10.4m @ 2.12% Cu, 25.80g/t Ag and 0.35g/t Au at the North West zone.
Other high-grade intercepts included 7.6m @ 4.39% Cu, 9.10g/t Ag, 0.07g/t Au and 6.1m @ 4.31% Cu, 76.38g/t Ag, 0.58g/t Au.
Evaluations will focus on assessing various mining scenarios, from a larger scale operation using the materially larger resource base at lower cut-off grades, to a smaller scenario using selective mining at high-grade targets.
Eagle Mountain Mining (ASX:EM2) will also look to identify cost and production efficiencies with existing infrastructure and plant, with metallurgical testwork to be carried out to determine the best processing methods.
Mr Mason said it was just the right timing to look at the next phase of development of Oracle Ridge, with increasingly positive sentiment towards copper demand.
“Eagle Mountain is well positioned to benefit from widely forecast expectations for higher copper prices driven by the global transition to cleaner energy,” Mr Mason said.
“Copper is utilised across the renewable energy spectrum including solar PV, wind and battery storage.
“The US Government has also made it clear it wants to be self-sustainable in all critical minerals, and copper will play an important part in this drive.”
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.