There’s no denying the transition to clean energy is already happening. We’ve seen the European Union commit to lowering its carbon footprint, US President Joe Biden sign an executive order “catalyzing” the shift to a clean energy economy, and the recent IPO of LG Energy Solution — which solidified the company as South Korea’s second most valuable company.
Supplying this exponentially growing global demand for the clean energy minerals needed to produce the components required to support this transition remains a significant challenge. Since 2010, the demand for these critical minerals has increased by 50 percent, with demand for both zinc and copper expected to double between 2021-2050. And yet, the majority of these minerals are produced in China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Russia, and Australia. If North America and Europe wish to meet their lofty goals, stable domestic production of clean energy metals like copper, lithium, cobalt is essential.
When it comes to mining, long-term success and stable operations require both the right location and favorable social and environmental factors. Nunavut and Utah are among many tier 1 mining jurisdictions that have robust opportunities for high-value mineral production. The mineral resource industry is Nunavut’s largest private sector contributor to its economy. As a result, its government has taken a pro-mining stance to help maintain its tier 1 status. Additionally, Utah enjoys a long history of mining that dates back to 1862, with thousands of active mines scattered across the state.
American West Metals (ASX:AW1) is an Australian company that focuses on the rapidly growing clean metal sector in tier 1 mining jurisdictions within North America. The company is working to support global clean energy initiatives by developing low footprint mines that can supply minerals needed for global electrification. The company’s portfolio of projects remains focused on producing copper and zinc products in Utah and Nunavut to support increasing global demand.
American West Metals features an all-star management team led by experienced leaders Michael Anderson, John Prineas, and Dave O’Neill, all whom have decades of combined expertise in global mine development, mineral exploration and corporate finance. The company is building the foundation for continued success in delivering economic benefits to all stakeholders and high-multiplier returns on shareholder investment. American West Metals currently has three high-value base metal projects geared toward supplying future resource needs: West Desert, Copper Warrior and Storm and Seal.
American West Metals recently started its diamond drilling efforts at West Desert under the management of an experienced in-country logistics and exploration team. Their Copper Warrior project is located close to the Lisbon Valley Copper Mine — Utah’s second largest copper mine. Meanwhile, the Storm and Seal projects have two styles of high-grade copper and zinc mineralization within the 4,145 square kilometer land package. Permits are in place and the projects are drill-ready with two drill rigs and a 35-person exploration camp on site.
Drilling at West Desert. Source: Twitter
“The drilling is planned to test the West Desert resource in areas that already have some impressive zinc, copper and silver intercepts, and to confirm our assumptions that the continuity of these zones will support a range of development scenarios. The drilling will also confirm the amenability of the shallow mineralisation to open-pit mining, further adding to the development optionality at West Desert,” said American West Metals’ Managing Director, Dave O’Neill.
- American West Metals is a critical metal focused mineral exploration and mining company that offers investors exposure to high-value projects in tier 1 mineral districts in Nunavut and Utah.
- The company has an experienced management team with decades of expertise in developing mines, mineral exploration and corporate finance.
- The advanced stage West Desert zinc-copper-indium deposit in Utah contains an existing resource base of over 1Mt of zinc, 120Kt of copper and 1,500t of indium.
- The Copper Warrior project is located near the second largest copper mine in Utah, with 173 mining claims covering 14 square kilometers.
- American West Metals’ Storm and Seal projects contain two styles of high-grade copper and zinc mineralization, have all necessary permits in place, and are ready for exploration to begin on the 4,145 square kilometre land package.
West Desert is 100 percent owned by American West Metals and is located approximately 160 kilometers southwest of Salt Lake City in west-central Utah. The project is within the prolific Sevier Orogenic Belt, which also hosts the world class Bingham copper deposit and Tintic Mineral District.
- NI 43-101 Results: The West Desert deposit is a massive zinc-poly metallic skarn and carbonate replacement deposit (CRD) with over 59Mt Indicated and inferred resources, with a higher grade core of 16.5 million tonnes (Mt) at 6.3 percent zinc, 0.3 percent copper, 33g/t indium for 1.03 Mt zinc, 45Kt copper and 545t indium (NI 43-101, historical and foreign resource).
- Existing Resource Foundation: West Desert has a strong existing resource foundation. Historical metallurgical test work exhibits clean concentrates and outstanding metal recoveries. The high-grade core may support a range of low footprint development scenarios.
- Large Indium Resource: This asset has the largest known unmined indium resource in the world and American West Metals will become the first indium producer in the United States. Indium is a critical metal to the national security and economics of the United States as it’s used in decarbonization technology, semiconductor and the electronics industries. There are unusually high levels of this mineral found in the sphalerite at West Desert, and it has only been assayed in 35 percent of samples, giving huge growth potential..
- CRD and Porphyry Mineralisation: Additional CRD mineralisation has been intersected about 1 kilometre east of the West Desert project, including 3 meters at 3.5 percent Cu, 7.65 percent Zinc (drill hole CC-43). There are numerous other high-grade intersections around the porphyry stock, which shows geological similarities to Bingham Canyon and other large porphyries in the region.
- Exploration and Studies underway: Mining, environmental and hydrological studies are underway, infrastructure is in place and drilling will proceed in January 2022.
The Copper Warrior project is located along the Lisbon Valley Fault in the prolific Paradox Basin of southeast Utah and just 15 kilometers from the second largest copper mine in Utah — Lisbon Copper Mine. There is direct road access to the processing plant and the mine infrastructure. The project spans an area of 14 square kilometers and has 173 claims. This region has exceptional deposits of copper, vanadium, uranium and potash.
- Stable Ownership: American West Metals has signed an option agreement to acquire all of Copper Warrior’s assets from Bronco Creek Exploration, a subsidiary of EMX Royalty Corp (TSXV:EMX).
- Turnkey Project: This project is a turnkey asset allowing fast-tracked activities because of the well understood geology and simple processing and mining techniques
- Ongoing Exploration: Outcroppings containing large volumes of copper, vein style and disseminated copper oxide and sulfides have been mapped across the Copper Warrior property. Sulfide and oxide mineralization in this region are typically amenable to easy low-cost leach processing. Low risk and low cost with Induced Polarization (IP) surveys and reverse circulation (RC) drilling set to go in the spring of 2022.
Storm and Seal
Storm and Seal, also known as the Nunavut projects, are in the lower Arctic Circle, close to the coast of Aston Bay on Somerset Island. This is northern Nunavut in the Polaris mineral district, with many exploration and mining projects close to the regional logistics hub Resolute Bay. The Storm and Seal project area extends 120 kilometers south from the north coast of Somerset Island and encompasses 4,145 square kilometers.
- Signed Lease Agreement: The Nunavut projects are owned by Aston Bay Holdings (TSXV: BAY). American West Metals signed an agreement to earn 80 percent of the Storm and Seal project interest from Aston Bay. American West Metals has control of this very accessible project and its turnkey exploration projects.
- High-Grade Copper: The Storm project is a structurally hosted high-grade copper discovery that has multiple, dense high-grade copper intersections across 15 square kilometers. Historical drill samples include 19m at 3.41percent copper from surface (ST97-02), 110m at 2.45 percent copper from surface (ST97-08), 56.3m at 3.07 percent copper from 12.2m (ST99-19) and 15m at 3.88 percent copper from 72.4m (ST99-47). There is also an unexplored sediment hosted copper system with many untested surface gossans that will add to the existing exploration endeavors.
Drill core from the Storm Copper Project. Source: Twitter
- Existing High-Grade Zinc-Silver Resources: Seal is adjacent to Storm and has an existing resource of 1Mt @ 10.24 percent zinc, 46.5 g/t silver for 103Kt of zinc and 1.5Moz silver (NI 43-101, historical and foreign resource). The deposit is open at depth and along strike. Historical intersections include;
- 14.4m at 10.58 percent zinc, 28.7 g/t silver from 51.8m
- 16m at 6.62 percent zinc,27.1 g/t silver from 76.6m
- 22.3m at 23 percent zinc,5.1 g/t silver from 101.5m
- 2.4m at 15.13 percent zinc, 91.9 g/t silver from 133.5m
- Extensive zinc soil anomalies within the prospective stratigraphy render more drill ready targets.
Exploration-Ready: The Nunavut property and existing camp has easy access and is primed for exploration. All permits are in place and the property is drill ready with 2 drill rigs and a 35 person exploration camp on site.
Dave O’Neill - Managing Director
Founder of American West and a major shareholder. A geologist with over 20 years experience in the resources sector gained in Australia and internationally. Dave has expertise in base metals and gold exploration as well as business development gained in senior roles with Anglogold, WMC, BHP and Western Areas. He has managed remote grass roots exploration to large resource delineation and mining projects in Australia, Europe, North America and Russia. Dave has a track record of successful exploration and was a leading team member for the discovery of the Succoth (Cu), Yappsu (Ni) and Cathedrals (Ni) deposits in Western Australia. Dave holds a BSc. (Honours in Geology) from the University of Technology, Sydney and is a Member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.
John Prineas - Non-executive Chairman
Founder of American West and a major shareholder. John is also the founder and Executive Chairman of St George Mining Limited (ASX: SGQ), a successful explorer and emerging nickel company in Australia. Prior to starting St George in 2010, John spent 20 years in the banking and legal sectors, including the role of Country Head Australia for Dresdner Bank AG (now Commerzbank AG) with a focus on project and acquisition finance for resources and infrastructure projects. John has worked on funding arrangements and growth strategies for a range of mining companies, from global majors to junior explorers. John holds a Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sydney and is a Fellow of Financial Services Institute of Australasia. John is also a director of BMG Resources Limited (ASX: BMG).
Michael Anderson - Non-executive Director
Dr Michael Anderson has extensive technical experience as well as substantial business development experience built up over a 30-year career. Michael is currently the Managing Director of Firefinch Limited (ASX: FFX) which has major gold and lithium projects in Mali, Africa. Previously, as a Director at Taurus Funds Management in Australia, he managed the fund’s investment in precious and base metals projects in a number of continents. Prior to that, Michael was the Managing Director of Exco Resources in Australia where he led the development of the White Dam Gold Mine and the advancement of resource development, feasibility studies and approvals for the Cloncurry Copper Project ahead of its sale to Xstrata. Dr Anderson holds a BSc. (1st Class Honours in Mining Geology) and a PhD in Mining Geology, both from the Royal School of Mines, Imperial College, University of London.
Rocky Pray - VP Operations
Rocky Pray has more than 30 years of engineering and project development focused on mining projects across several jurisdictions in the USA and abroad, including 12 years with Newmont Mining where he served as Project Study Director, Project Manager, and Consulting Mine Engineer. Rocky has a successful track record directing teams to safely build new mines, and expand existing mines on schedule and under budget. Rocky is a senior mining professional with expertise in pre-feasibility and feasibility studies, Federal and State permitting, environmental management mine operations, project engineering and construction. He is registered with the US Society of Mining Engineers and holds a Bachelor of Science degree (Geological Engineer) from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.
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