Potential for a unique mix of Storm and Seal style mineralisation

Australian copper explorer American West Metals Limited (ASX: AW1; FRA: R84; OTCQB: AWMLF) has mapped prospective weathering traces in the characteristic shape of a gossan over a length of more than 4 kilometres at the underexplored Tempest exploration target, 40 kilometres south of drilling at the advanced copper targets at Storm (see Figure 1) on Somerset Island, Nunavut, Canada.

Initial geochemical sampling of surface gossan rocks returned values of 38.2% Cu and 30.8% Zn. A ground electromagnetic (EM) survey at Tempest has defined a number of EM anomalies coincident with the high-grade copper and zinc gossans and represent high priority drill targets for the 2024 field programme. Magnetic data indicates that Tempest may lie on a large structural unconformity – a geological setting that is highly prospective for base metals. The results at Tempest emphasise the large regional potential in the project area.

Dave O’Neill, Managing Director of American West Metals, commented: “Exploration of the underexplored Tempest area was a priority of the 2023 regional exploration programme due to historical sampling of copper pours that returned grades in excess of 32% Cu. The programme has successfully extended the prospective strike length of the gossans and EM anomalies to over 4km and has returned exceptional copper and zinc grades up to 38% Cu and 30% Zn.”

Figure 1: Geophysical map of the project area showing the known copper and base metal occurrences. The hotter colours indicate higher magnetic intensity as measured by Airborne GeoTEM. The Tempest prospect is located approximately 40 kilometres south of Storm.

The gossan samples at Tempest differ in composition from those typically found at Storm and have higher grades of other metals, including zinc, lead and gold. The gossan samples from Storm generally contain only copper +/- silver and only trace amounts of zinc and lead. This may indicate that the gossans at Tempest are from a different style of mineralisation or a combination of mineralisation styles.

The metal association of the Tempest gossans and the geological setting suggest that the area has the potential for a unique mix of storm and seal style mineralisation (i.e. tight coupling of the prospective stratigraphic zinc and copper horizons) as well as volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) and SEDEX style base metal deposits. The discovery of VMS base metal mineralisation in the Proterozoic rocks at Tempest would be the first of its kind in the project area.

Figure 2: Aerial view of the northern gossan on the Tempest Prospect. This section of the prospective trend outcrops gossans that can be traced over 600 m (brown-rust colour).

Figure 3: Photo of the southern section of the Tempest copper and zinc gossans looking north. The brown-red-rust coloured veins indicate potential base metal mineralisation below surface and can be traced for 4km along strike. The CEO of Aston Bay, Tom Ullrich, can be seen on the right of the photo.

Figure 4: Overview map of the Tempest project showing the mapped gossans and geochemical sampling locations overlaid on a TDEM image and aerial photographs.

Conclusion: Further news from the Strom project is expected in the coming weeks. Testing for direct shipping ore (DSO) from the 2750N and 4100N zones is in full swing. In parallel, resource estimation work on the Storm copper mineralisation is underway. In addition, the American West team is already working on planning for the upcoming field programme in early 2024. Given the overwhelming success of resource drilling in 2023 with a 100% hit rate and the outstanding discoveries at Tempest, it is expected that activities in 2024 will be significantly more extensive than this year. It is becoming increasingly clear that the Strom project deserves a stand-out position among the world’s base metal projects.

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