Eagle Mountain Mining (ASX:EM2) has begun working on a new Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) for its wholly owned Oracle Ridge Copper Mine Project in Arizona, US.
The company says the new MRE is underway following the ‘extensive’ knowledge acquired from an underground mapping and channel sampling program and will incorporate all assays received since October 2022.
The updated MRE is anticipated to be completed in Q4, 2023.
Eagle Mountain intends to review its modelling methods and assumptions as part of the MRE update. This review will be focused on domaining the ‘higher-’ and ‘lower-grade’ zones to align more closely with mapping and sampling observations, as well as reduce the impact of grade over-smoothing.
Alongside updating the MRE, Eagle Mountain is also ramping up various technical evaluations to assess options for future mining and processing operations at Oracle Ridge. These evaluations are based on an underground mining operation and will consider various potential processing options.
Eagle Mountain says previous underground drilling, sampling, and mapping activities have provided the confidence to move on to this next stage in the potential development of the project.
The evaluations will focus on production primarily from the existing Measured and Indicated resources of the project and will evaluate alternate mining scenarios to optimise returns, including ‘larger-scale’ operations, using the materially larger resource base at lower cut-off grades or a smaller higher-grade operation with selective mining.
Commenting on the studies and MRE, Eagle Mountain Mining Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tim Mason says: “Now is the time for us to change focus from exploration and resource building towards ramping up various technical evaluations that show the true potential at Oracle Ridge, including mining, processing, infrastructure, and environmental.
An extensive drilling and sampling program has been successful in providing our October 2022 JORC MRE and identifying valuable optionality on how we can maximise returns from mining. The contained metal at Oracle Ridge nearly doubles when moving from a 1.0% to a 0.60% Cu cut-off grade. This demonstrates a range of exciting options for future mining and processing with different combinations of grade and scale.
“This demonstrates a range of exciting options for future mining and processing with different combinations of grade and scale”
Importantly, we are reviewing the current MRE to incorporate a revised modelling technique based on the extensive new knowledge gained from the underground channel sampling program, as well as including the assays received since October 2022.
The recent results from the underground drilling program and underground sampling continue to demonstrate that mineralisation at Oracle Ridge includes high-grade zones within very thick zones at lower grades.”
Eagle Mountain adds that it is committed to investigating the processes and technologies that could reduce Oracle Ridge’s impact on the environment and support local communities. These include incorporating renewable energy into the design, not considering open pit mining, and incorporating a battery electric mining fleet where practical to reduce emissions.
Eagle Mountain Mining is a copper-gold explorer focused on the strategic exploration and development of the Oracle Ridge Copper Mine and the ‘highly prospective’ greenfields Silver Mountain Project, both situated in Arizona, US.
Write to Aaliyah Rogan at Mining.com.au
Images: Eagle Mountain Mining Ltd