American West Metals: Quarterly Activities Report for the Period Ended June 2022

29 July 2022

[Ed note: we have highlighted only the Nunavut activities below. Read the full release for complete information issued by American West]

July 29, 2022

Storm and Seal Projects, Canada

  • Ore sorting test work on drill core from the Storm Copper Project produced a Direct Shipping Ore (DSO) copper product with >53% Cu
  • Logistics for the 2022 exploration campaign underway in preparation for drilling during the September quarter
  • 2022 drill program will focus on:
    • Resource definition at the 2750N Zone which contains historical drill intersections of 110m @ 2.45% Cu from surface (ST97-08) and 56.3m @ 3.07% Cu from 12.2m (ST99-19)
    • Testing electromagnetic (EM) conductors identified by American West and which are priority targets for the discovery of further copper sulphide mineralisation

Storm and Seal Projects, Nunavut

Ore Sorting Test Work

The straightforward nature of the copper mineralogy and host rocks of the Storm Copper Project indicated that it may be amenable to upgrading through beneficiation processing techniques. The ore sorting test work was completed with partners Steinert Australia at their test facilities in Bibra Lake, Western Australia. The test sample was processed using a full scale STEINERT KSS CLI XT combination sensor sorter.

Sample selection and process

The test sample was selected from preserved core from drill hole STOR1601D. This drill hole is located within the eastern 4100N Zone of the Storm Copper Project. The selected 4m interval from between 97-101m down hole was composited and included approximately 5.5kg of core material  with  an  average grade of 4m @ 4.16% Cu. The test sample is considered representative  of  the  high-grade copper mineralisation discovered at the Storm Project to date.

The composite sample was crushed to a size fraction of 10-25mm, which is the optimal size range for the full-scale ore sorting equipment. The crushed material was then washed before being processed. A minor fraction of fines was lost (~0.03kg) during crushing.

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.

Commercial grade DSO

Three distinct products were produced from the test work – a Very High Density  material  which  qualifies as DSO, a High Density material and a Low Density material (Figure 16). The weights of each product were 0.56kg, 0.51kg and 4.4kg respectively. Each of the products was split and samples from each were pulverized and prepared as pressed pellets for analysis.

Metal values were estimated using portable XRF and the results are tabulated below (Table 5). XRF analysis of the pressed pellets is considered an accurate estimate of metal values given the composite and homogenous nature of the pellets.



Cu Grade


Estimated Chalcocite

Content (approx.)

Ore Sorter Feed




V. High Density




High Density




Low Density




Table 5: Portable XRF results and ore sorter product details

The grades and yield suggests that the Very High Density product is likely comprised of pure chalcocite (Cu2S) and a small fraction of waste material. This unoptimized grade is superior to many other DSO copper products globally, and is due to the simple, monomineralic nature of the copper mineralisation.

The High Density intermediate product likely represents a portion of the sampled interval where there is fine grained chalcocite that wasn’t liberated with crushing of the 10-25mm fraction. Optimisation of the sorting algorithm to recover the remaining fine-grained chalcocite, followed by further crushing is expected to successfully upgrade this material to DSO grades through simple conventional physical separation. Any fines lost in the original crushing circuit will likely be reprocessed with the intermediate material.

The waste material is comprised of dolomite, with very minor unliberated (likely very fine grained) chalcocite. This is expected to have no acid forming potential.

Potential leader in ESG credentials

The ore sorting test work has demonstrated that the typical mineralisation at Storm Copper can successfully be upgraded through a simple process to produce a DSO product. The exceptional grade of the Storm DSO is unique and ranks among the highest-grade copper DSO products globally.

The operational benefits of using ore-sorting processing technology are the low capital and operating costs, low emissions and the lack of tailings and reagents. This, combined with the high-grade and shallow mineralisation, provides the Company with a  potential pathway to a  very low footprint, low  cost and ESG sensitive mining operation.

Storm Exploration Program

An extensive diamond drilling program has been designed for 2022 with the aim of defining a maiden copper resource at Storm,  and to  define new zones of mineralisation through testing of high-priority  EM anomalies.

The high-grade 2750N zone will be the first to be drilled and will include infill drilling around historical intersections such as 110m @ 2.45% Cu from surface (drill hole ST97-08) and 56m @ 3.07% Cu from 12.2m (drill hole ST99-19). These two intersections are located approximately 100m apart, and within broader a zone of mineralisation over 300m in strike. The 2750N zone is open in all directions.

A number of high priority EM anomalies that were identified as part of the 2021 survey will also be tested. That survey identified seven shallow and seven deep anomalies that are untested and lie in favorable geological locations. For details of the  results of the EM  survey, see our ASX Release  dated   14 December 2021 Outstanding Growth at Storm Copper.

Two of the shallow EM anomalies close to the 2750N zone are associated with significant copper in soil geochemical anomalies and mapped surface gossans, making them compelling targets for the discovery of further copper sulphides.

The geometry and mostly gentle dips of the modelled deep conductors suggest that they may be related to stratiform type targets, and may be indicative of traditional sedimentary type copper mineralisation at depth. One of these deep anomalies lies immediately to the west of the 4100N zone and is interpreted to project close to surface in that location, and therefore may represent the source of the shallow high-grade mineralisation.

The drilling is now underway and will continue during the September quarter.