Background: American West Metals Ltd (ASX: AW1) listed in December 2021 on the Australian Securities Exchange. The company portfolio consists of three base metals projects: Storm (Cu)/Seal(Zn) in Canada and West Desert (Zn, Cu, In, Ag, Au) Copper Warrior (Cu) in the USA. This short note is solely focused on the Storm copper project, for which AW1 has the option to earn 80% of the project.
Geology: The Storm prospect comprises favourable host lithologies, regional setting and visual occurrences of mineralisation to support the proposed sediment-hosted stratiform copper (SSC) mineralisation model.
Exploration/Drilling: Exploration work at the Storm/Seal mineral asset has been carried out intermittently since the 1960s. previous drilling has returned assays of 110m @ 2.45% Cu from surface and 56.3m @ 3.07% Cu from 12.2m. On 1st September 2022, AW1 announced the results of drill hole ST22-05 with the following intercept:
41m @ 4.18% Cu from 38m downhole, including;
15m @ 10.05% Cu from 47m downhole, and including;
5m @ 24.28% Cu from 48m downhole
Latest Results: selected intercepts
Some of these copper drill hole intercepts are among the best for early stage projects, see benchmarking chart on the second page and bodes well for the upcoming MRE.
Maiden Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE): The drill holes reported above are part of the 4100N drilling program designed to support a maiden resource estimate (expected in the September quarter) where extensive near-surface copper mineralisation has already been intersected across 1,000m of strike.
Metallurgy : The straightforward nature of the copper mineralogy and host rocks of the Storm Copper Project indicated that it may be amenable to upgrading through ore sorting. A combination of X-Ray transmission and 3D laser sensors were used in the sorting algorithms given the expected density contrasts between the ore and waste. Test work using a full scale sorter has successfully generated a Direct Shipping Ore (DSO) product with a copper grade of 53.9% copper The DSO material has no impurities and has the potential to form the basis for a low footprint and low capital development option at the Storm Copper Project.
Comparison with ASX-Listed Companies/Projects: In the absence of a MRE for Storm the follow chart is essentially based on West Desert, where copper represents about 10% of the MRE.
Investment Perspective: The currently low market valuation of AW1 compared to its peers offers an excellent investment opportunity. The Storm project could well be a game changer and a company maker.