Ivanhoe Electric (TSX: IE) has provided an updated mineral resource estimate for the Santa Cruz copper project located west of Casa Grande, Arizona, which now includes the first resource for the East Ridge deposit directly adjacent to the Santa Cruz deposit and for the Texaco deposit approximately 1.6 km to the northeast.
This resource update is based on much higher cut-off grades than the 0.39% used in the December 2021 resource statement to account for the consistency and thickness of the higher-grade exotic, oxide and enriched copper domains.
The resource at the Santa Cruz deposit reflects a 0.70% total copper cut-off, while the resources at East Ridge and Texaco reflect a 0.90% and 0.80% total copper cut-off, respectively.
Even at these higher cut-off grades, the overall project-wide contained copper in indicated resources increased by 11% to 2.8 million tonnes (226.7 million tonnes grading 1.24% total copper). Notably, contained copper in indicated resources, excluding primary sulphide mineralization, increased by 86%.
Project-wide contained copper in inferred resources also grew to 1.8 million tonnes (149 million tonnes grading 1.24% total copper), including 1.2 million tonnes of soluble copper.
The Santa Cruz deposit remains by far the largest deposit on the property, with indicated resources totaling 223.2 million tonnes grading 1.24% total copper and inferred resources totaling 62.7 million tonnes grading 1.23% total copper.
Notably, the deposit now includes 78% indicated resources at higher average grades than the previous estimate, which will form the base for the upcoming initial assessment/preliminary economic assessment.
The initial East Ridge and Texaco resource estimates reflect limited portions of the historically defined areas of mineralization, and represent what Ivanhoe Electric has delineated within the past six months.
According to the company, both East Ridge and Texaco exhibit significant potential for high-grade copper additions within the structural corridors that control the mineralization. Project-wide, Ivanhoe Electric currently has six diamond drill rigs active on site.
“We are making great strides towards our ambitious goal of constructing a low-carbon footprint, underground copper mine with minimal surface disturbance in Arizona,” executive chairman Robert Friedland said in a news release.
“This resource update is the culmination of a tremendous effort by our team at Santa Cruz. The drilling to date increases our confidence in the high copper grades at the Santa Cruz deposit and confirms the growth potential at the nearby East Ridge and Texaco deposits,” added CEO Taylor Melvin.
Shares of Ivanhoe Electric surged 11.3% to a near 52-week high of C$19.42 by 12:50 p.m. ET. The company has a market capitalization of about $1.4 billion.
Source: MINING.COM – Read More