RNS Number : 2558H

Empire Metals Limited

23 November 2022

Empire Metals Limited / LON : EEE / Sector: Natural Resources

23 November 2022

Empire Metals Limited

("Empire " or "the Company")

Commencement of Exploration Field Work at Pitfield Ahead of Schedule

Empire Metals Limited (LON: EEE), the AIM-quoted resource exploration and development company, is pleased to announce that exploration activities have now commenced at the Pitfield Copper Project ("Pitfield" or the "Project"), located in Western Australia. These field activities will focus on under-explored areas of the Project and generate new exploration data that will add significantly to the Company's understanding of the size and nature of this potential Giant copper province.


-- Pitfield has the potential to contain multiple sediment-hosted stratabound copper ("SSC") deposits across a 40km N-S magnetic anomaly (as announced on 21 September).

-- Current exploration focus is on areas that were previously under-explored by major mining companies to further the Company's understanding of the size and nature of this potential "Giant" copper province.

-- Highly experienced exploration team, led by Ed Baltis, mobilised to Pitfield to conduct field work including geological surface mapping and soil sampling.

-- Further exploration field work, including IP surveying, is expected to continue in Q1 2023 ahead of an intended drill programme to evaluate the economic significance of any SSC deposit.

Shaun Bunn, Managing Director, said: "I am pleased to report that we have commenced our exploration field work at Pitfield ahead of schedule, thanks to the efforts of our highly experienced exploration team. Having successfully put in place the initial land access agreements needed to commence surface exploration the team has mobilised to site to expedite the surface mapping and soil sampling programme at the Project, which has shown strong potential to be a new Giant copper province.

"The areas currently targeted are along strike from known soil anomalies, where high values of copper, silver and base metals have been identified from previous exploration. We expect that the results from our current programme will significantly expand the areas of high discovery potential ahead of completing surface IP surveys to identify drill targets beneath the surface metal anomalies.

"We have been keen to get our boots on the ground at this highly prospective new asset, and the exploration team are all eager to begin work as we look to prove up the presence of a new Giant copper province."

Phase 1 Exploration Programme - Mapping Surface Geology and Soil Sampling

The favourable geology of the Yandanooka basin for large-scale copper deposits has previously attracted major mining companies which carried out exploration within the area. For example, CRA Limited ("CRA") (1992) identified widespread copper ("Cu"), silver ("Ag"), nickel ("Ni") and zinc ("Zn") anomalism over large parts of the Yandanooka basin, particularly in association with magnetite-altered rocks.

The local surface geology has been previously mapped by others on a sporadic basis, relying on areas that were either topographic highs or outcrops. With the geophysical data collected by Empire from the recent Airborne Magnetic ("AM") and Airborne Electromagnetic ("AEM") surveys, a more comprehensive interpretation of the local geology has been prepared (Figure 1) which highlights the extent of the Mt Scratch magnetic siltstones and the associated structures.

Figure 1. Pitfield Interpretative Geology and Structural Map .

The 9,000m thick Mt Scratch siltstone has been subdivided based on geophysical character as follows:

-- the conductive sequence is shown in darker blue and likely contains reduced graphite bearing units;

   --             the highly magnetic units (magnetite bearing) are highlighted in stippled fill; and 
   --             low magnetic units and low/variable conductivity are in light blue. 

When looking to further define geochemical anomalies within the magnetic siltstones, either through soil sampling and/or surface mapping, consideration has once again be given to those areas exhibiting shallow cover and/or topographic highs where the surface prospecting methods will be most effective (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Target areas and soil sampling lines for Phase 1 Exploration Programme.

Extensive Cu, Ag, Ni and Zn anomalies have previously been highlighted within the surface sampling. In the context of sedimentary rock sequences, copper values >100ppm, nickel >50ppm and silver >0.5ppm are considered highly anomalous and may indicate the presence of significant SSC mineral systems. By multiplying the assays for all four elements to produce an overall mineralised factor several Cu-Ag-Ni-Zn anomalous zones, each stretching over several kilometres, become clearer (Figure 3). The current geological mapping and soil sampling programme aims to both extend these mineralised zones even further, and define substantial new areas of metal anomalism compatible with SSC systems. The current work is targeted at unexplored portions of the project with soil sample lines positioned in the northern, central and southern areas of the licence.

Figure 3. Surface sampling by CRA highlighting combined Cu-Ag-Ni-Zn anomalism.

Pitfield Geology Compares Favourably with the Sandstone Sub-type of SSC

Geophysical surveying, geochemical sampling and geology work show that the Yandanooka basin contains coincident favourable features that make this an attractive sediment-hosted copper exploration target.

The AEM survey identified significant variations in rock conductivity including a suite of anomalous conductive features within the Mt Scratch siltstone, which indicates the presence of reductants such as graphite. The presence of reduced carbonaceous rocks (containing organic matter, graphite or hydrocarbons) stratigraphically higher in the sequence may provide a redox trap to allow for the precipitation of copper.

The AM survey has distinguished a widespread, stratabound, regional magnetic anomaly (magnetite-bearing alteration) over 40km long. This massive magnetic anomaly, extending over 40km north-south indicates that the project area has been impacted by a large alteration event compatible with the influx of warm, oxidized, metals-transporting, sedimentary brines.

BHP (1984), which drilled four stratigraphic diamond holes focussed along the western contact of the Yandanooka basin within the basement Mullingarra gneiss, confirmed that the basement rock was depleted in Cu, indicating that the base metals have been leached and mobilised by the fluids passing through and this most likely explains the Cu anomalies identified within the upper zones of siltstone/sandstone.

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, as incorporated into UK law by the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, until the release of this announcement.


   For further information please visit www.empiremetals.co.uk   or contact: 
 Empire Metals Ltd                    Tel: 020 7907 9327 
  Shaun Bunn / Greg Kuenzel 
 S. P. Angel Corporate Finance LLP    Tel: 020 3470 0470 
  (Nomad & Broker) 
  Ewan Leggat / Adam Cowl 
 Shard Capital Partners LLP (Joint    Tel: 020 7186 9950 
  Damon Heath 
 St Brides Partners Ltd (Financial    Tel: 020 7236 1177 
  Susie Geliher / Ana Ribeiro / Max 

About Empire Metals Limited

Empire Metals is an AIM-listed (LON: EEE) exploration and resource development company with a project portfolio comprising gold interests in Australia and Austria.

The Company's strategy is to develop a pipeline of projects at different stages in the development curve. Its initial focus has been on the high-grade Eclipse and Gindalbie Gold Projects in Western Australia. The Company expanded its exploration licence area in April 2022 from 9.5km(2) to 1,728km(2) with the acquisition of the Pitfield Copper-Gold Project and the Walton Copper-Gold Project in Western Australia, and the Stavely Copper-Gold Project in the Stavely Arc region of Victoria.

Empire also holds a portfolio of three precious metals projects located an historically high-grade gold production region comprising the Rotgulden, Schonberg and Walchen prospects in central-southern Austria.

The Board continues to evaluate opportunities through which to realise the value of its wider portfolio and reviews further assets which meet the Company's investment criteria.

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November 23, 2022 02:00 ET (07:00 GMT)

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