Visual drill hole analysis can easily be deceiving. That's why the now-released lab results from the first drill hole of the SR23-01 season at American West's (ASX: AW1; OTCQB: AWMLF; FRA: R84) Storm Copper Project on Somerset Island, Nunavut, are a source of great satisfaction to geologists: Assayed intercepts from SR23-01 closely match and even exceed visually identified intercepts, confirming the classification of strong visual copper sulfides (estimated value >1% Cu) during the logging process. Specifically, drilling returned high-grade copper mineralization over a total of 28.9m in three near-surface intervals: 15.2m @ 1.2% Cu, including 4.6m @ 2.8% Cu from 54.9m; 7.6m @ 1.2% Cu, including 3.1m @ 2.4% Cu from 79.3m; and 6.1m @ 1.1% Cu, including 3.1m @ 1.4% Cu from 120.4m.
Accordingly, geologists are looking forward to the upcoming laboratory evaluations for the additional eight reverse circulation (RC) drill holes from the 4100N Zone, which have now been completed. Similar to SR23-1, all holes intersected thick intervals of strongly visible copper sulfides, continuing the 100% success rate of the drilling during 2023. The drilling has confirmed near surface copper mineralization over 850m x 300m and which remains open along strike. The drill program is in full swing and continues to intersect large volumes of visible copper sulphides within the central and western portions of the known mineral system in the 4100N Zone. Due to continued success and expansion of the mineralized footprint, additional drill holes have been added to the 4100N Zone program. 17 drill holes have now been drilled on the 4100N Zone during 2023.
Dave O'Neill, Managing Director of American West Metals, commented, "While we have only received assay results for the first hole of the current program, the results confirm and exceed our initial visual estimates. This is a fantastic result and gives us confidence in our geological interpretations and assumptions regarding the continuity of the mineralized zones. Drilling at Storm continues to highlight the potentially significant size of the mineralization, with every hole to date intersecting thick intervals of visible copper sulphides. The growing extent is very encouraging as we work towards an initial resource estimate."
Accompanying the drilling, American West is conducting geophysical surveys using a technique known as moving-loop EM. Crews have completed surveys of the 4100N, 2750N West and Tempest targets. Data from these surveys are currently being processed and subsequently analyzed.
Figure 1: 3D orthographic view of the 4100N Zone, Storm Project, showing drilling (completed and planned) and the interpreted >1% mineralized envelope defined in the drilling.
Figure 2: The 4100N zone could become a door opener for a much larger copper project. The shallow, near-surface copper mineralization represents only a fraction of the suspected copper occurrences at the Strom Project (see arrow). The company also plans to test the neighboring Zonene 2200N and 2750N in the near future. There, high-grade copper sulfides were intersected near surface last year, including 41m @ 4.18% Cu from 38m (ST22-05) downhole.
CONCLUSION: With this high pace of exploration, investors can look forward to further updates in quick succession. The current drilling confirms the findings of previous drilling, which suggest that the mineralized footprint in the 4100N zone extends over an area of approximately 32 hectares. This gives American West an excellent opportunity to define a significant near-surface resource base that could serve as the basis for an initial low-cost open pit mining operation. Ore sorting and processing testing for a potential direct ship operation (DSO) is already underway. The company also plans to present results on this shortly.
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