Phoenix Global Mining (LSE:PGM) dipped to 30.2p this morning despite recent exploration work indicating a ‘district style’ opportunity at its flagship Empire copper mine in the US.

The firm, which was down 7.2pc as at writing, said it has proven mineralisation along a 3.5km strike within its expanded Empire Mine land position, which now totals 1,837 acres. As a result of the findings, Phoenix will now fast-track further exploration work, with chief executive Dennis Thomas claiming the results suggest a ‘district style’ opportunity:

‘We have only really begun to understand the scale of the opportunity following the mapping, sampling and drilling work outside the oxide resource envelope which has been the focus of our attention to-date. We have always believed that the area had strong potential. We needed to increase the property holdings to incorporate these potential areas which we have now done. We believe we can add considerable value by continuing exploration along the whole 3,500m zone within the property boundary and investigating the mineralised showing and old workings within this vast mineralised system.’

Located in southeast-central Idaho, Empire consists of a skarn-hosted, open pit copper resource and a deeper-rooted and past-producing copper, gold, silver, and tungsten ore system.  After establishing a copper oxide JORC resource of 19.4Mt grading 0.47pc copper, a PEA released in April put Empire’s annual copper production at 8,124t, generating $65m a year over an eight-year mine life.

Since June, the company has been undertaking a major targeted drilling programme to prepare a bankable feasibility for Empire’s open pit.  The work involves increasing the open pit’s resource and carrying out infill drilling to upgrade existing inferred resources into the measured and indicated category. It has also been looking to build up additional copper resources around the open pit through step out drilling to the west, south and east of the designated open pit and northwards towards its adjoining Horseshoe Block.

Last month, the firm said it had found extensive evidence of copper sulphides below and to the north-west, east, and south of Empire. Specifically, five drill hole intercepts contained predominantly chalcopyrite and bornite copper sulphide mineralisation while another confirmed sulphide mineralisation beneath Empire’s oxide open pit.  In today’s update, it said the drilling programme has continued to return robust results that will enhance a new resource estimate, scheduled for completion in January next year. Thomas added:

‘High-grade copper and silver assays, consistent with results reported in the last two months, provides more evidence of a deeper-rooted, high-grade sulphide system.  Assay results for those holes are anticipated in November and early December. We look forward to keeping the market updated on our progress.’

Author: Daniel Flynn

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