Next resource to be defined

A new exploration campaign has just been launched at the Storm copper project on Somerset Island in the Canadian province of Nunavut, which is 20% owned by Aston Bay (TSX.V: BAY, FSE: 6AY, WKN: A2AUFP) and 80% owned by its partner American West Metals. The program includes both drilling and geophysical surveys.

The work is being managed, carried out and financed by American West. The aim of this year’s campaign is to generate growth through drilling. Drilling is therefore planned to extend the existing mineralization as well as exploration drilling in parts of the property that have not yet been explored to depth.

Next resource to be defined

The starting point for drilling to define an initial resource at the Thunder deposit is the high-grade copper discoveries made in 2023, where discovery hole ST23-03, for example, returned a peak of 48.6 meters of 3% copper at a depth of only 32.4 meters. This zone is embedded in a larger intercept of 76 meters averaging 2% copper.

Drilling is also planned on the electromagnetic targets next to the Cyclone deposit, which were identified last year. Aston Bay and American West are very interested in the EM target that has attracted attention with a very high modeled conductivity of 17,000 Seimens. The aim of the drilling is of course to find new, additional mineralization.

Additional drilling rigs to speed up the work

To give the program the necessary emphasis, American West will bring additional drill rigs to the project in the coming weeks. They will focus on infill drilling in the Cyclone (formerly 4100N) and Chinook (formerly 2850N) zones to increase the known mineralization and resource. The zones below the known copper mineralization in the Storm area and the suspected large-scale copper targets at the as yet unexplored Tornado, Blizzard and Tempest deposits will also be investigated.

The size and attractiveness of the project makes it necessary to work in several places at the same time using different methods. For this reason, high power electromagnetic moving loop (MLEM) geophysical surveys will be conducted to define potential extensions of known areas of high-grade copper mineralization and to identify new exploration targets both near surface and at depth.

“We are very excited to be drilling again at Storm,” said Thomas Ullrich, CEO of Aston Bay Holdings. “This is the first of two significant drill programs that our partner American West will be conducting this spring and summer to expand the known zones of mineralization and drill for new discoveries.”

In this context, it is important to note that the drilling carried out in the past has already proven the effectiveness of moving loop electromagnetics. The partners are now concentrating on going deeper and discovering further anomalies by adjusting the parameters and increasing the power used in the survey. If this is successful, further interesting targets should be available for diamond drilling in the summer season.

An innovative feature of the Storm project is the use of a reverse circulation drill rig that can move autonomously for the first time. This means of transportation eliminates the need for a helicopter to move the drilling rig, which is more time-consuming and expensive. As a total of up to 12,000 reverse circulation drill meters are planned, it is expected that the use of this innovative technology will bring additional operational and production-related benefits.

Aston Bay also intends to present a resource estimate according to the Canadian Institute of Mining standard in May, i.e. in a few weeks’ time. American West had already shown a resource of more than 200,000 tons of copper according to Australian standards, but these are not officially recognized in North America.

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