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American West onto 54 per cent direct ship copper

American West Metals says the results of a recent ore sorting program using material from its high-grade Storm copper project on Somerset Island in the Canadian territory of Nunavut have delivered extraordinary results that could be a “game changer” for the project’s development.

The company said test work using a full-scale ore sorter has generated a direct shipping ore or ‘DSO’ product with a copper grade of 53.9 per cent – and it is free of impurities.

Importantly, the lack of contaminants in the DSO allows Storm to be cultivated as an environmentally friendly, low-cost project according to the company.

American West says the low-cost processing associated with the project’s geology could be transformational for the venture and is in line with its strategy of building low-footprint operations.

It said the process to deliver its copper is exceptionally simple, using a workflow that involves only crushing and washing before X-ray and 3D laser-guided ore sorting to separate the valuable materials from the waste.

This modest process positions the project as one of only a handful of high-grade DSO copper operations in the world.

American West is now powering ahead with planning an intensive drilling campaign at the project with the goal of defining resources and expanding the recognised copper mineralisation through the evaluation of electromagnetic or ‘EM’ targets.

The EM anomalies were first discovered last year through a geophysical survey that unearthed about half a dozen shallow and deep targets in areas both untested and geologically favourable.

The company said the resource definition and exploration probe could kick off as early as June this year.

The looming campaign will first target a high-grade zone at the project, with later infill drilling planned around historic intersections that include a whopping 110m hit going 2.45 per cent copper in one hole and a 56m strike running 3.07 per cent copper from 12m in another.

Importantly, the two historical intersections sit within a wider zone of mineralisation that extends more than 300m in strike, while the initial high-grade target area is open in all directions.

American West’s Nunavut property consists of 117 contiguous mining claims and six prospecting permits covering an area of roughly 302,725 hectares.

The Storm project, part of the Nunavut package, also houses the Seal zinc deposit.

Historical work at Seal delivered several notable results, including a 14.4m section grading 10.58 per cent zinc and 28.7 grams per tonne silver from 51.8m. An earlier probe also struck a 22.3m intersection at 23 per cent zinc and 5.1 g/t silver from 101.5m.

Copper is very much part of the EV revolution and with American West now onto a DSO product which delivers both grade and no impurities, the company looks set to muscle into the increasingly lucrative battery metals space.

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@wanews.com.au

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