Drilling has intersected thick intervals of shallow zinc and copper mineralisation that highlights the open pit potential of American West’s West Desert project in Utah.

This comes after extensive massive zinc and copper-rich skarns were visually logged in WD22-02, which was drilled to test the extent of near surface ore lenses and marks the third diamond drill hole completed at the project.

American West (ASX:AW1) noted that the mineralisation is variably weathered and consists of oxide and transitional ores and confirms the continuity near surface of the deeper mineralised zones encountered within WD22-01 and WD22-01C, further supporting the Project’s open pit potential.

Historical metallurgical test work on the oxidised zinc and copper mineralisation has produced highly encouraging results which suggest that zinc, copper and indium can be extracted economically.

“The visual observations from WD22-02 show more than 102m of zinc and copper mineralisation commencing from 20m downhole,” managing director Dave O’Neill said.

“The drill hole confirms the upper extensions of very thick mineralisation encountered in the first two drill holes completed by American West. This near surface mineralisation is important to our development strategy and the potential for an open pit operation.”

He added that the results confirmed the company’s assumptions about the continuity of mineralisation whilst highlighting the quality and scale of West Desert.

The fourth drill hole is currently underway targeting the continuity of high-grade zinc and copper mineralisation in the eastern portion of the deposit.


Drill result

WD22-02 was drilled on the same section and above WD22-01 and WD22-01C, where the distance between historical drilling is greater than 90m.

This area contains extensive shallow mineralisation which could support open pit development.

It was drilled to a depth of 233.8m and intersected 102m of visual mineralisation within two major and one minor zones.


Abundant sphalerite veins

The upper most interval of about 5m is hosted within marble and is likely a relic of the upper mineralisation encountered in WD22-01 and WD22-01C.

The first major zone of mineralisation is about 31m thick and consists of strongly oxidised massive gossan with visual zinc and copper oxides. This interval also contains large volumes of iron oxides and is likely the weathered product of massive skarn mineralisation.

The lower interval is about 65m thick and contains abundant sphalerite veins within strong skarn mineralisation in dolomite.

This material is more of a transitional ore type and is weakly to moderately weathered along fractures.


This article was developed in collaboration with American West, 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.