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Phoenix Copper Ltd (PXC)


Wednesday 07 April, 2021

Phoenix Copper Ltd

Awarding of Contracts for 2021 Drilling Programmes

RNS Number : 5813U
Phoenix Copper Limited
07 April 2021

Phoenix Copper Limited / Ticker: PXC / Sector: Mining 

7 April 2021


Phoenix Copper Limited

("Phoenix" or the "Company")


Awarding of Contracts for 2021 Drilling Programmes


Phoenix Copper Ltd (AIM: PXC, OTCQX: PXCLF), the AIM quoted North American focused base and precious metals emerging producer and exploration company, is pleased to announce that Alford Drilling (formerly AK Drilling) of Elko, Nevada has been awarded the contracts for the 2021 Navarre Creek reverse circulation ("RC") and the Red Star and Horseshoe diamond core drilling programmes. Drillrite LLC of Reno, Nevada has been awarded the contracts for the 2021 Empire deep sulphide drilling and for the drilling and construction of hydrological monitoring wells.  


Ryan McDermott, Chief Executive Officer, commented:


"Work is progressing well with our Empire Mine development programme and preparations continue apace for the commencement of our exploration programmes as previously stated.  I am, therefore, pleased to announce that we have awarded the drilling contracts for the 2021 field season to Alford Drilling and to Drillrite LLC.  Alford Drilling will complete the drilling programme at the high-grade silver - lead Red Star and Horseshoe blocks, as well as the Navarre Creek gold block, while Drillrite LLC will complete the deep copper sulphide programme at Empire and the hydrological drill programme to support the Empire Mine open pit project. 


"The Red Star core drilling will be a follow-up to last year's programme, but with the benefit of Dr David Rodgers' 2020 field work and subsequent report, as well as the results of the planned electromagnetic ("EM") survey scheduled for May/June of this year.  The Navarre Creek drilling programme will be a continuation of the 2020 exploration season using the surface sampling assay results combined with the results of the planned EM survey also scheduled for May/June, site conditions permitting.  The Navarre programme will be results oriented and may continue into 2022.


"Because we believe the results of the EM surveys at both Red Star and Navarre will be critical for drill hole targeting, and those surveys cannot be completed until the snow has melted, both drilling programmes are expected to commence during Q3. We are currently proposing to drill 1,500 metres at Red Star and Horseshoe, and 3,000 metres at Navarre Creek.


"The deep sulphide and hydrological drilling at Empire are also subject to site conditions; however, they are not dependent on the completion of geophysical surveying and are therefore anticipated to commence in late Q2. We anticipate drilling up to 4,500 metres in the deep sulphides and approximately 1,500 metres of hydrological drilling.


"The Company is executing these field-based programmes using the results from the 2020 field season and utilising the funding from the recent equity raise.  As always, the Company is putting shareholder dollars to work in well-organised field programmes that increase the likelihood of adding shareholder value.  I look forward to sharing the results of our 2021 programme over the coming months."


Red Star, Horseshoe and Navarre Projects


The Red Star deposit is located approximately 330 metres north-northwest of the Empire open pit resource area within the Empire patented claim boundary and was discovered during field mapping and reconnaissance of the northern patented claim boundary and adjacent Horseshoe Block. In May 2019, Hard Rock Consulting estimated a maiden inferred resource at Red Star of 103,000 tonnes grading 173.4 grammes per tonne ("g/t") silver, 0.85 g/t gold, and 3.85% lead, with minor copper and zinc. In 2020, 10 HQ-core holes were completed at Red Star. Core holes RSD20-01 through RSD20-04, and RSD20-06, returned assays of 116.9 g/t (3.76 ounces per tonne ("oz/t")) to 359.8 g/t (11.57 oz/t) silver and lead values from 1.17% to 7.79%, respectively. Further drilling was hampered by ground cover hiding the skarn deposit, making this difficult to follow. The present magnetic survey is intended to overcome those difficulties.


The Navarre Creek claim block to the north west of the Empire Mine was acquired in 2019 and attracted attention as the geology appeared to be similar to volcanic hosted gold deposits on the Carlin Trend in Nevada, home to several multimillion ounce gold deposits. Of the 90 samples, 53 were above the detection limit for gold with a high of 0.569 g/t, and 25 were above the detection limit for silver.  The gold grades in these initial geochemical Navarre Creek samples are anomalously high and indicative of higher-grade values in less weathered rocks below the surface oxidised zone. These results are similar to the historic grades encountered in the early exploration phases of the now multimillion ounce deposits on the Carlin Trend in Nevada.


Empire Deep Sulphides


A copper-rich sulphide vein system was mined extensively underground at the Empire deposit from 1901 until 1942, and then sporadically from the late-1940s to the late-1970s. Smelter records from pre-WWII indicated copper grades shipped from the mine averaged 6% to 8% copper and contained lesser amounts of gold, silver, lead, zinc, and tungsten.  Phoenix completed two deep diamond drill holes below the open pit oxides at Empire in late 2017 that confirmed the presence of higher-grade sulphide mineralisation in the skarn structures at depth. Both of the core holes intersected mineralised skarn and the analytical data from both drill holes intersected numerous significant intervals of copper, gold, silver, zinc, lead, and tungsten throughout their depths. The tungsten values were particularly interesting as they positively reinforced the Company's consulting geologist's predictions of the Empire system being the uppermost horizon of a larger molybdenum-tungsten porphyry.  In 2018 five drill holes intercepted copper sulphide mineralisation below the Empire oxides. One hole returned 5.53% copper, 7.67 g/t gold, and 120 g/t silver, and was further north of any historical underground mining, whilst another returned 5.19% copper adjacent to historical underground workings. The gold and silver grades generally are major considerations, ranging to 7.93 g/t gold and 256 g/t silver.


Long-term Hydrological Monitoring Wells


A network of between nine and 12 monitoring wells is planned in the areas upgradient and downgradient of the proposed heap leach pad and processing area.  These wells will be constructed as piezometers and used for long-term ground water elevation and groundwater sampling points during the operation of the open pit leach heaps to ensure water quality compliance.  The borings will also be used as condemnation holes to ensure that mineralised rock does not exist below the processing area.


Drilling Contractors


Alford Drilling (formerly AK Drilling) of Elko, Nevada, USA, has previously been responsible for all of the drilling work completed to date on both the Company's Empire Mine and Red Star discovery.  Their website can be viewed at Drillrite LLC is headquartered in Reno, Nevada, USA.  Their website can be viewed at 



Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) Disclosure


Certain information contained in this announcement would have been deemed inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of Regulation (EU) No 596/2014 until the release of this announcement.




For further information please visit or contact:


Phoenix Copper Limited

Ryan McDermott

Dennis Thomas

Richard Wilkins

Tel: +1 208 954 7039 

Tel: +44 7827 290 849

Tel: +44 7590 216 657 

SP Angel (Nominated Adviser)

David Hignell / Caroline Rowe

Tel: +44 20 3470 0470

Brandon Hill Capital (Joint Broker)

Jonathan Evans / Oliver Stansfield


Tel: +44 20 3463 5000

WH Ireland (Joint Broker)

Harry Ansell / Adam Pollock / Katy Mitchell

Tel: +44 207 2201666

Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited (Joint Broker)

John Prior / Hugh Rich / Ailsa Macmaster

Tel: +44 20 7886 2500

EAS Advisors (US Corporate Adviser)

Matt Bonner / Rogier de la Rambelje

Tel: +1 (646) 495-2225

(Financial PR)

Tim Blythe / Megan Ray

Tel: +44 20 7138 3204




Phoenix Copper Limited is a North American focused, base and precious metal emerging producer and exploration company, which has carried out a drilling programme and generated a copper, gold, silver and zinc resource on which it is carrying out a feasibility study to bring the historically producing Empire Mine in Idaho, USA, back into production. It is also evaluating the silver and gold resources around three other past producing mines within the 23 km Empire claims block as well as cobalt in two claims blocks north of Empire in Idaho.


Phoenix's primary operations are focused near Mackay, Idaho in the Alder Creek mining district. This district includes the historical Empire, Horseshoe, White Knob and Blue Bird Mines, past producers of copper, gold, silver, zinc, lead and tungsten from underground mines in the first half of the twentieth century. Additionally, the district includes Navarre Creek a Carlin-trend gold discovery which hosts a 6.1 km gold strike length within a 9.8 km² area.


Phoenix acquired an 80% interest in the historical Empire Mine property in 2017 and, based on a total of 320 drill holes, an oxide resource was completed in late 2017. A NI 43-101 compliant PEA (preliminary economic assessment) for an open pit heap leach solvent extraction and electrowinning ("SX-EW") mine was completed in April 2018. In 2018 a further 8,600 metres in 93 holes was completed to upgrade the oxide resources, provide samples for ongoing metallurgical test work, geotechnical and hydrological studies and condemnation drilling for the heap leach pad site, waste dump and plant site. An updated NI 43-101 compliant resource was completed in early May 2020 and October 2020 for all metals. Present contained metal in all NI 43-101 compliant categories of resources, measured, indicated and inferred, stand at 355,523 ounces of gold, 129,641 tonnes of copper, 10,133,772 ounces of silver and 58,440 tonnes of zinc. Following the latest NI 43-101 compliant resource, Phoenix updated its economic model in February 2021 to include the processing of all contained metals through a two phased approach.


Since acquiring the Empire project, Phoenix has increased the claim area from 818 acres to 5,717 acres, mainly to the northwest and west, and in so doing has increased the potential for additional oxide and sulphide copper resources, as well as the potential for stand-alone gold and silver resources, along a strike length of approximately 5.4 km towards the other brownfield mines of the Horseshoe, White Knob and Blue Bird Mines now within the property boundary. In particular, a new discovery at Red Star, 330 metres north west of the Empire Mine proposed open pit, has revealed sulphide ore and from three shallow exploration drill holes a NI 43-101 compliant maiden resource of 1.6 million silver equivalent ounces was reported.


At Empire, it is estimated that less than 1% of the potential ore system has been explored to date and, accordingly, there is significant opportunity to increase the resource through phased exploration.


More details on the Company, its assets and its objectives can be found on PXC's website at


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