• Thick copper sulphides at depth up to 2.7% Cu at Storm Project in US 
  • Drill holes indicate two horizons: deep mineralisation below shallow high grade copper 
  • Near-surface Thunder prospect has been confirmed as an exceptional discovery with grades up to 49.6% Cu  
  • A major drill program is planned for early next year  


It looks like American West Metals’ (ASX:AW1) C$10m exploration expenditure to earn 80% of the Storm Copper Project is paying dividends, as drilling results confirm the Project contains a large, high-grade copper system. 

Storm is becoming a monster. Significant high-grade copper – highlighted by standout hits like 110m @ 2.45% Cu from surface – is exposed at surface across 40 hectares of the project area. 

Meanwhile, American West Metals has made a breakthrough discovery of a regional sediment-hosted copper system at depth. 

American West says the latest exploration results from Storm “show clear geological similarities to many of the world’s major sediment-hosted copper systems”, including the world-class deposits of the Kalahari Copper Belt in Botswana and Central African Copper Belt in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

These copper deposits typically have metre scale thicknesses and kilometre scale strikes of the ore zones, it says. 


Exceptional drill results 

This deeper system is now confirmed, with assay results from 3 diamond drillholes returning sediment hosted copper beneath the near surface mineralisation at Storm. 

These holes were also spaced between 600m and 2km apart, hinting at the potential size of the prize. 

Highlight results include a 24m thick interval of copper sulphides at depth with copper values up to 2.7% Cu, indicating the potential of this deeper system to host high-grade mineralisation. 

This discovery has significant implications for the project’s exploration potential, American West Managing Director Dave O’Neill says. 

“We have demonstrated that the mineralised copper horizon is associated with a series of gravity anomalies that sit below or adjacent to the known near-surface high-grade copper prospects and major faults,” said O’Neill.  

“These gravity features occur along the entire length of the Storm–Tornado graben, supporting the potential for a very large sediment-hosted copper system, similar to the large-scale copper deposits in the Congo and Botswana.  

“All five deeper diamond holes have intersected the sediment-hosted copper system with the wide spaced nature of the holes indicating the very large lateral extent of the system.”  

With kilometre-scale targets remaining untested, American West will now plan a major drill program for 2024 to scope out the extent of the sediment-hosted copper. 


‘Exceptional discovery’ at Thunderbird 

Meanwhile, the shallow Thunderbird discovery — 1km from the known near-surface Storm copper deposits – underlines the outstanding resource expansion and exploration potential of the near-surface stuff, the Company says. 

A hole drilled to a downhole depth of 396m intersected two main zones of copper sulphide mineralisation. 

The shallow 48.6m long hit from 32.4m grading 3% included 20m at 6.2%, including an eyewatering 0.5m chunk grading 49.6% copper at 57m. 

“The near-surface Thunder prospect has been confirmed as an exceptional discovery with grades up to 49.6% Cu,” said O’Neill.  

“These kinds of copper grades and thicknesses are remarkable and rarely seen in open pit mining opportunities, further highlighting the resource potential of the near-surface mineralisation.”  

One of the key takeaways from these drilling results is that – in addition to the significant volume of mineralisation already identified – there are still tremendous exploration opportunities at Storm, O’Neill says.   

The primary source of copper at Thunder is thought to be the Southern Graben Fault.  

Over 10km of prospective structures have been identified in the southern graben area alone, highlighting the exploration potential along strike, and at depth below the known copper mineralisation. 

The Storm Graben faults can be also traced for over 6km south-east into the Tornado and Blizzard Prospect areas, where there is widespread copper geochemical anomalism at surface. 

“The full extent of the copper mineralisation at Storm has yet to be defined and we are excited to be planning follow-up exploration and drilling programs,” he says.  

“We look forward to giving shareholders further updates in the coming weeks.” 



What’s cooking next? 

Assays for the remaining drill holes for the 2023 program are still pending and will continue to be received over the coming weeks, as well as further assays from rock and gossan sampling at the Tempest prospect. 

Ore sorting, beneficiation and process optimisations are ongoing on a range of ore types from the copper-rich 2750N and 4100N Zones. 

Resource modelling, environmental programs and exploration work is being compiled and planned for the next phase of exploration in 2024. 



This article was developed in collaboration with American West Metals, 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.