Phoenix Global Mining* (PGM LN) 19p, Mkt Cap �7.3m – Increasing its land position at Empire
Phoenix Global Mining has announced a substantial increase in its land position surrounding the historic Empire mine in Idaho. The staking of a total of 194 new mining claims to the north and west of the company’s Horseshoe claim block has increased the overall holding by 3,880 acres (approximately 1,570 hectares or over 200%) to 5,717 acres (2,314 hectares).
The new claim areas, known as the Windy Devil and Navarre Creek claim blocks cover “extensions to known mineralisation”. The Windy Devil block which is “contiguous with the Horseshoe Block, covers the identifiable extensions of the Horseshoe Block mineral trends and includes more than 30 historical prospects, shafts, and adits”.
Sampling results during the 2018 exploration programme at the Horseshoe Claim area “reported grades as high as 9.19% copper, 580 g/t silver, 2.02 g/t gold, and 20% lead in surface rock chips” and the company has apparently identified extensions of this mineralisation into the Windy Devil area.
The “larger Navarre Creek Block to the west was also recognised during the 2018 field season as a highly prospective target area based on the classic hot springs style alteration evident on the surface”.
Navarra Creek is identified as “an area of secondary alteration thought to be epithermal in nature and includes over 2.5-kilometres of highly brecciated … altered volcanic rocks … similar to the mineralised rocks in northern Nevada such as those found in the Carlin Trend”.
Commenting on the acquisition of the additional land CEO, Dennis Thomas said that “This new claim block contains more than 30 unnamed prospects, including multiple previously mined shafts and adits”.
Mr. Thomas emphasised, however, “The Company’s first priority remains the Empire copper deposit. Now that we control the Horseshoe, Windy Devil, and Navarre Blocks, we are confident that our future operational footprint and areas of expansion are secure.”
A revised mineral resources estimate for the Empire project, incorporating the results of the 8,604m of drilling completed in 2018, is expected during Q1 2019 as part of the continuing bankable feasibility study work to develop the near-surface oxide mineralisation.
When the revised estimate is available we expect the additional drilling and the earlier expansion of the company’s land position into the Horseshoe Block to result in an expansion of the current inferred resource of approximately 11.5mt classed as measured and indicated at an average grade of 0.52% copper, 0.14% zinc, 10g/t silver and 0.2g/t gold plus an additional 9.9mt classed as inferred at an average grade of 0.41% copper, 0.13% zinc, 9g/t silver and 0.3g/t gold.
A Preliminary Economic Assessment, completed in April 2018, envisaged heap leaching and solvent extraction to produce around 8,000tpa of copper cathode from the oxide resources. The 2018 exploration work also intersected deeper sulphide mineralisation similar to that extracted during the historical mining in the area.
As the company’s focus intensifies on the Empire mine area and on the cobalt projects, also located in Idaho, Phoenix Global Mining has allowed its option to acquire an 80% interest in the Gordon Lake gold property in Canada to lapse. The option required the expenditure of a “further $250,000in February. Given the potential of the Empire Mine and particularly in view of the Company’s increased acreage, the Company decided to allow the option to lapse. The Company’s 2018 accounts are expected to include a write-off of the option, which has a carried value of $155,000”.
Conclusion: The three-fold increase in Phoenix Global Mining’s land holding around the old Empire mine and its decision to allow the Gordon Lake option to lapse emphasises the importance management attaches to the Empire mine project. We look forward to the revised mineral resource estimate for the project later in the quarter.
*SP Angel acts as Nomad and broker to Phoenix Global Mining