RNS Number : 1764O

Empire Metals Limited

30 January 2023

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

30 January 2023

Empire Metals Limited

("Empire " or "the Company")

Stellar Results from Soil and Rock Sampling at the Pitfield Copper Project

Empire Metals Limited (LON: EEE), the AIM-quoted resource exploration and development company, is pleased to announce that surface sampling carried out in December 2022 at the Pitfield Copper Project ("Pitfield") in Western Australia has confirmed extensive copper anomalism just south of the historic Mt Scratch workings and several very high-grade rock samples have been discovered in the process.


-- Empire's exploration team have completed two field campaigns, collecting soil and rock samples as well as surface mapping of geological features.

-- Sampling has confirmed an historic copper-in-soil anomaly associated with the Mt Scratch workings and extended this anomaly over a 4km distance south of the workings, trending along the western margin of the highly magnetic stratigraphic units.

-- The soil and rock sampling results add further evidence that Pitfield has the potential to contain multiple sediment-hosted stratabound copper ("SSC") deposits lying within what may be a "Giant" copper mineralised system.

   --    Several of the rock samples collected produced stellar results including: 

o 17.88% Cu and 125.46 g/t Ag (Sample PMR009)

o 4.63% Cu and 7.15 g/t Ag (Sample PMR008)

o 0.65% Cu and 3.68 g/t Ag (Sample PMR012)

-- The third and final field phase of initial geological mapping and soil sampling programme is now underway.

-- Additional soil sampling and reconnaissance Dipole - Dipole Induced Polarisation ("DD-IP") geophysical surveying are expected to be completed in Q1 2023 with a view to expediting a maiden drill programme at Pitfield to evaluate the economic potential of SSC targets defined by the current work.

Shaun Bunn, Managing Director, said: "I am delighted to provide an update on our emerging Giant copper exploration project at Pitfield, where our recent geochemical sampling has confirmed highly anomalous values of copper, silver and other base metals over a 4km extent to the south of the historical Mt Scratch copper mine. The field mapping and rock sampling has verified the soil anomaly by locating extraordinarily high-grade samples of copper and silver, with one sample reporting nearly 18% Cu and 125 g/t Ag. These results bring us a step closer to confirming our previous belief of Pitfield containing a potential giant copper mineral system. This discovery is happening at a crucial time in the world's transition to a more electric future, which is largely reliant on copper production, with substantial copper deficits forecast in the coming years.

"The detailed technical interpretation of the recent DD-IP survey results is also expected soon, and I look forward to updating the market further on how these additional results will provide targets for an initial drill programme across this large copper-anomalous area."

Field Mapping, Soil and Rock 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, including: Kennecott Corporation ("Kennecott"), MIM Holdings ("MIM"), BHP Group Limited ("BHP") and CRA. Widespread copper, silver, nickel and zinc anomalism has been identified over large parts of the Yandanooka basin by these previous explorers, particularly in association with magnetite-altered rocks.

CRA (1992) completed IP geophysics and auger sampling defining a +7km Cu-in-auger anomaly (plus Ag) over what is now the western flank of the Pitfield project, and remains open to the east and south. CRA followed up with two diamond holes, the southern hole on Pitfield recording copper anomalism with a maximum value of 570ppm (from 4m chip samples of drillcore) associated with fracture-controlled malachite and minor native copper.

CRA also carried out soil sampling at Mt Scratch towards the north of the project area which shows a direct correlation between more strongly anomalous copper-in-soils with magnetic rock units within the stratigraphy. Rock chip samples taken by CRA from surface exposures returned very encouraging Cu-Ag values (up to 2.3% Cu and 20.8 g/t Ag) within the magnetic units highlighting a large, highly prospective SSC target (Figure 1).


Figure 1.Surface sampling by CRA highlighting Cu anomalism in a compostie image of soils, auger and rock.

The current geological mapping and soil sampling programme is focussed on unexplored portions of the project with soil sample lines positioned in the northern, central and southern areas of the licence (refer Figure 2). To date, 580 soil samples and 27 rock specimens have been collected and assayed. The location of the five traverses of DD-IP geophysical survey, which was announced 12 January 2023, is also shown.


Figure 2. Location of recent soil and rock sampling and DD-IP survey traverses.

The geological mapping and soil sampling results have confirmed an extensive copper-in-soil anomaly extending 4km south of Mt Scratch coinciding with the western-most magnetic trend of the regional 40km long magnetic anomaly (refer Figure 3). What the soil sampling highlights in this northern area of the licence is two mineralized trends, the Mt Scratch and Greenbrook Trends, each potentially representing separate SSC deposit targets that belong to one Giant Cu mineral system extending the entire length of the 40km long magnetic anomaly.

Results from soil sampling along the Mt Scratch trend confirm that the most elevated copper values are associated with magnetic sedimentary horizons (white and light grey colours in Figure 3), with copper values typically lower in non-magnetic units. The Empire soil results confirm and extend copper anomalism seen in the historical CRA sampling work to some 4km in length. The absolute copper values in the Empire sampling are somewhat lower than in the CRA work, likely due to differences in the sampling or analytical approach taken. The nature of the regolith appears to have a strong bearing on the copper-in-soil values with the best values usually associated with weathered bedrock outcrop, and copper values decreasing (depleted) in the laterite layer. Wind-blown sand is quite extensively developed in parts of the project with copper assay results indicating that the sand cover completely masks the bedrock copper response. Soil sampling was stopped when the sand areas were encountered.


Figure 3. Surface sampling by Empire highlighting Cu anomalism near Mt Scratch.

Importantly, 27 rock samples of interest, including a malachite-bearing silicified breccia (copper carbonate mineral), a magnetite-enriched sandstone, and several samples with intense iron-oxide enrichment were collected during field traversing with several producing stellar results (location shown in Figure 4) including:

   --    17.88% Cu and 125.46 g/t Ag (Sample PMR009 - refer to Figure 5) 
   --    4.63% Cu and 7.15 g/t Ag (Sample PMR008) 
   --    0.65% Cu and 3.68 g/t Ag (Sample PMR012) 

These rock specimens are particularly encouraging as they confirm the presence of copper enrichment along with quartz and magnetite - all key elements of the SSC model.

These copper enriched rock samples are likely "float" samples and may relate to now backfilled c1900 era prospecting shafts which demonstrate the presence of strong copper values at shallow depths (probably <10m) within what appears to be a highly ferruginous (iron-rich) and copper-leached surface layer.

Figure 4. High-grade surface rock samples collected by Empire near Mt Scratch

Figure 5. Rock Sample PMR009 which assayed at 17.88% Cu and 125.46 g/t Ag.

Future Work Programmes

Two phases of field work have been completed to date, with the third and final phase of the geological mapping and soil sampling programme now underway. Additional soil sampling and reconnaissance DD-IP surveying is expected to be completed in Q1 2023 with a view to expediting a maiden drill programme at Pitfield to evaluate the economic potential of SSC targets defined by the current work.

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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January 30, 2023 02:00 ET (07:00 GMT)

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