Last year's great successes are an incentive for a repeat performance

Aston Bay (TSX.V: BAY, FSE: 6AY, WKN: A2AUFP), together with its partner American West Metals, has launched a new geophysical program at the Storm Copper Project on Somerset Island in the Canadian province of Nunavut. The aim of the program is to identify a number of priority drill targets for new copper discoveries.

The program is being managed and executed by partner American West, which has since made the necessary expenditures to acquire an undivided 80% interest in the project. American West will also be solely responsible for funding the program.

The geological field teams have now arrived at the Storm project and are making final preparations for the start of work. Field work is planned to begin this year with detailed, high-power surface electromagnetic (EM) surveys. Further reverse circulation drilling is also due to commence shortly.

“It is exciting to begin another significant exploration program at Storm,” said Thomas Ullrich, CEO of Aston Bay Holdings, just prior to the start of the program. “Our partner American West will be conducting a large-scale geophysical EM program using a more powerful system than has been used at Storm to date. This will allow us to see the near-surface targets with more detail, but also investigate deeper targets with more confidence than ever before.”

Last year’s great successes are an incentive for a repeat performance

Last year’s drilling impressively demonstrated how effective surface electromagnetic surveys can be, and that they can safely and cost-effectively indicate high-grade, near-surface mineralisation (e.g., 2023’s Thunder discovery: 76m @ 2% Cu from 32.4m, including 48.6m @ 3% Cu from 32.4m, and including 20m @ 6.2% Cu from 40.8m). It is therefore an absolutely logical and sensible step to apply this method to a much larger area and to look to a much greater depth. This fulfils one of the key technical requirements for identifying new significant copper discoveries.

The drill team’s work this year will be aimed at extending the known mineralisation and testing the new targets arising from the upcoming EM surveys. Storm could therefore be in for another exciting spring and summer season.

Electromagnetic surveys are the method of choice

At Storm, pre-drill electromagnetic geophysical surveys have proven to be the most effective tool in the exploration for new high-grade copper sulphides. Several historical surveys using both airborne and ground-based EM systems have led to the discovery of most of the copper mineralisation known today on the Storm project.

The identified near-surface, high-grade copper mineralisation at depths of less than 100 metres remains open along strike and to depth in the immediate Storm area. The new holes to be drilled in 2024 will therefore target the limits of previously known mineralisation both at the margins and at depth as well as targeting new anomalies for new discoveries.

Together with the largely untested 100 kilometres long prospective copper target horizon, this results in outstanding potential for new, near-surface copper discoveries. However, other, much more powerful energy sources will be used for the measurements in 2024. They are more than twice as powerful as the devices used last year. The targeted search area for expanding the near-surface resource will be around 0 to 200 metres below the surface.

The aim is to extend mineralisation and find new deposits

The aim of the investigations is to close gaps in the historical surveys, obtain higher resolution data and search deeper for copper. The exploration will also be extended to new zones. These target areas include the Blizzard, Tornado and Tempest prospects. Work is to begin on them as soon as the surveys planned for Storm have been completed.

The Blizzard and Tornado properties are located approximately ten kilometres along strike to the east of Storm and have a geological setting that is considered to be largely identical to that of Storm. It contains numerous copper occurrences consistent with copper in soil and geophysical anomalies.

The Tornado prospect is located in an area with numerous chalcocite and malachite boulders in a frost-damaged basement and within a 3.2 by 1.5-kilometre copper geochemical anomaly. The large copper anomaly exhibits the same linear trend as the major structural features of the Storm graben. Most of the anomalous copper samples are hosted within the interpreted North Graben Fault, which is a similar setting to the large and laterally extensive Cyclone deposit at Storm.

Blizzard, Tempest and Tornado are interesting new target areas

The Blizzard property is characterised by a broad, oval-shaped zone of elevated vertical time domain electromagnetics. It is approximately 4.0 kilometres long and 1.5 kilometres wide. The target is locally enhanced by elevated copper values in rock and soil samples.

Both the Blizzard and Tornado areas also contain large gravity anomalies which, together with the existing EM data and coincident copper geochemistry, make these areas highly prospective for the discovery of additional copper mineralisation.

The Tempest Prospect is located approximately 40 kilometres south of the known copper discoveries at Storm. This target area is defined by a four kilometre long gossan zone, with assays of selected grab samples returning base metal grades of up to 38.2 per cent copper and 30.8 per cent zinc.

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