Eagle Mountain swoops in on Oracle Ridge Scoping Study

Copper explorer Eagle Mountain Mining (ASX:EM2) is tapping investors for more than $4.5 million as it kicks off work on a formal Scoping Study for its Oracle Ridge Copper Project in Arizona.

The $22.26 million market capitalisation company says recent ‘positive’ metallurgical and mining studies have prompted its decision to begin the Scoping Study, which is set to define the economic and technical pathway to production for Oracle Ridge. 

Eagle Mountain’s Study will be based on the project’s current Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) of 28 million tonnes @ 1.35% copper, 11.06 grams per tonne (g/t) silver, and 0.16g/t gold, and the company says a key focus of the Study will be on minimising the environmental footprint and surface disturbance of the project. 

The Scoping Study is slated for completion during the third quarter of 2024. 

To support the study, Eagle Mountain has launched a one-for-4 entitlement offer to raise $4.57 million from eligible shareholders. New shares to be issued under the offer will be priced at $0.06 and will each come with one free attaching option exercisable at $0.20 within 3 years. 

This offer is partially underwritten by Shadow Mountain Mining, an entity associated with Eagle Mountain Managing Director Charles Bass, to $1.25 million. Eagle Mountain Directors Rick Crabb and Roger Port and CEO Tim Mason have committed to taking up their full entitlements under the offer.

Mason says while the Oracle Ridge project was previously operated back in the 1990s, an increase to the project’s mineral resources of some 30 million tonnes since then means the company can now consider ‘materially higher’ production rates and a longer mine life. 

“Our team has identified a simplified ore processing method for Oracle Ridge, providing significant cost and environmental benefits. 

It is a fantastic time to be developing a copper project, with global decarbonisation targets driving strong demand forecast, especially for the second half of this decade. 

Importantly, the recent inclusion of copper on the US critical minerals list means that production of London Metal Exchange (LME)-grade copper onsite at Oracle Ridge supports supply of copper for domestic use.”

“It is a fantastic time to be developing a copper project, with global decarbonisation targets driving strong demand forecast, especially for the second half of this decade”

Eagle Mountain says the measured and indicated resources within the Oracle Ridge project lie predominantly in areas that are expected to support mine production in the first 5 years of mine life, with over half of the MRE in these higher-confidence resource categories. 

Further to this, the company says the project is home to ‘substantial’ exploration targets within and around the mine area, which could provide an opportunity for a mine life ‘well beyond’ that which the Scoping Study is focused. 

Eagle Mountain’s Scoping Study will consider various underground mining methods only, with no surface mining to be explored. 

Recent glycine-based leach testwork has yielded ‘encouraging’ results for the project, according to the company, and further metallurgical testwork is now underway, with results to be incorporated into the Scoping Study.

Alongside Oracle Ridge, Eagle Mountain owns the greenfields Silver Mountain Project, also in Arizona. 

Eagle Mountain had around $1.67 million cash and cash equivalents at hand as of 30 September 2023, according to its latest quarterly report. 

Write to Joshua Smith at Mining.com.au

Images: Eagle Mountain Mining
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Written By Joshua Smith
Joshua Smith has years of experience in the media sector, having worked as a markets reporter, features writer, and editor since completing a Communications and Journalism degree and a Creative Writing degree. Josh is an avid board game fan and a self-professed coffee snob.