Aston Bay Holdings Ltd. [TSXV-BAY; OTCQB-ATBHF] reported the latest assay results from the Storm copper project on Somerset Island, Nunavut. The program was conducted by American West Metals Ltd. [OTCQB-AWMLF], which is the operator of the project.
“We are encouraged by the remaining reverse circulation drilling results from our summer 2023 program at Storm,” stated Thomas Ullrich, CEO of Aston Bay. “The footprint of the near-surface copper mineralization continues to get larger while demonstrating excellent continuity. Mineralization in these previously known zones remains open, and new discoveries of thick, high-grade zones such as Thunder and Lightning Ridge in the near surface that point to the potential to find more. Our partners American West are aggressively moving this near-surface mineralization toward a potential low-cost, high-margin DSO production scenario.
“The significance of this work is not limited to the near-surface mineralization alone. Deeper drilling this season has also confirmed the presence of similar copper mineralogy and grade at depth that are spatially associated with geophysical anomalies of significantly larger lateral extent. Although we have not yet encountered the same thicknesses as we see in the near surface, these new deeper intercepts highlight the similarities to the large-scale copper deposits of Central Africa. It is exciting to explore a project with such significant scale potential and we look forward to the 2024 season.”
A total of 63 drill holes were completed during the 2023 drilling program for 9,756 metres, out of a planned maximum of 10,000 metres. Of these drill holes, 56 were drilled using reverse circulation (RC), and seven were diamond drill holes. The drilling was designed to define resources within the known near-surface, high-grade 4100N, 2750N and 2200N copper zones to support a maiden resource and to test key exploration targets and concepts.
The completion of 39 RC drill holes at the 4100N Zone during 2023 has confirmed a large volume of mineralization with significant resource potential. The mineralization is flat-lying and continuous over a significant lateral extent. The latest assays confirm thick intervals of copper mineralization on the margins of the 4100N Zone, giving strong indications that the mineralization remains open laterally in most directions.
Exploration drilling of high-priority electromagnetic (EM) anomalies and key geological features during 2023 has further expanded the footprint of the near-surface, high-grade copper mineralization at Storm.
Further exploration along strike of the vast fault network in the area will be designed to test both near-surface and deeper sediment-hosted copper mineralization. Approximately 10km of prospective structures have been identified in the southern graben area alone. Additional EM and gravity surveys are planned for the start of the 2024 season and will cover the Storm, Tornado, Blizzard, and Tempest prospect areas.
Assays for rock and gossan samples from the Tempest area as well as the fourth deep diamond drill hole are pending and due over the coming weeks.
The company and its joint venture partners, American West Metals Limited and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Tornado Metals Ltd. (collectively, American West) have agreed to form a 20/80 unincorporated joint venture and enter into a joint venture agreement in respect of the Storm Project property, which hosts the Storm Copper Project and the Seal Zinc Deposit.
Under such agreement, Aston Bay shall have a free carried interest until American West has made a decision to mine upon completion of a bankable feasibility study, meaning American West will be solely responsible for funding the joint venture until such decision is made. After such decision is made, Aston Bay will be diluted in the event it does not elect to contribute its proportionate share and its interest in the Storm Project property will be converted into a 2% net smelter returns royalty if its interest is diluted to below 10%.