Phoenix Global Mining Ltd is a North American focused, base and precious metal explorer and developer, which is fast-tracking the historically-producing Empire Mine in Idaho, USA, back into production.
Phoenix's flagship project is a brownfield, past producing, copper, gold, silver, zinc and tungsten underground mine, the Empire Mine near Mackay in Idaho. Phoenix acquired an 80% interest in the property in 2015. Based on a total of 315 drill holes a NI 43-101 compliant oxide resource was completed in late 2017. A PEA (preliminary economic assessment) for an open pit heap leach solvent extraction and electrowinning ("SX-EW") mine was completed in April 2018 with a design capacity of 8,000 tonnes of copper cathode a year. In June 2018 a campaign consisting of RC and diamond drilling was started. This programme was designed to upgrade and increase the oxide reserves, provide samples for ongoing metallurgical testwork, geotechnical and hydrological studies and condemnation drilling for the heap leach pad site, waste dump and plant site. At the same time the consultants were appointed to complete a NI 43-101 compliant Bankable Feasibility Study ("BFS"). The lead consultant is RPM Global who are supported by Samuel Engineering, both based in Denver, Colorado. Cascade Earth Sciences of Pocatello, Idaho have been working on environmental and permitting issues since 2016 and form part of the BFS team. Golder Associates are designing the heap leach pad and ponds, and Call and Nicholas are carrying out the open pit slope stability studies.
At Empire, it is estimated that only 5% to 7% of the potential ore system has been explored to date and, accordingly, there is significant opportunity to increase the resource through phased exploration; the current resource relates to the oxide resource only, which remains open along strike and does not include the deeper, higher grade sulphides. In addition, Phoenix has increased the claim area from 813 acres at the time of its acquisition to 5,717 acres, mainly to the northwest and west, and in so doing has increased the potential for additional oxide and sulphide resources to a total strike length of approximately 5.38-kilometres including another brownfield mine, the Horseshoe Mine, which is now within the property boundary and more than 30 historical shafts, adits on the newly acquired Windy Devil claims.
In 2018 the Company completed 8,604 metres of drilling at Empire. The analytical and geological data from this 93-hole drilling program and 106 channel surface sampling programme is currently being evaluated and modelled in preparation for a Q1 2019 updated resource calculation as part of the ongoing BFS for the initial open pit mine. Phoenix staff and consultants are systematically assessing and evaluating the recent data and incorporating this data into the existing database which includes all of the information used in the November 2017 resource estimate and in the April 2018 Preliminary Economic Assessment.
As reported throughout late 2018, mineralised drill hole intercepts were prevalent in multiple directions outside of the previously modelled open pit mine, particularly to the north in the newly discovered Red Star area. The 2018 drilling programme obtained numerous high-grade interceptions, including grades of 12.05% copper, 20% lead, 5.83% zinc, 2.52 g/t gold and 580 g/t silver, all of which will be included in an updated resource estimate expected in Q1 2019. Known mineralisation now covers a strike length of 5.38 kilometres within the Company's claim block. The April 2018 pit design covered 1.0 kilometres of this. The Company continues to believe that the Empire Mine Project and the surrounding claims holdings represents a major mineralised system.
The Company also holds two prospective cobalt properties in Idaho, US, which are located north of the Empire Mine. These are situated close to the town of Cobalt and are close to projects being advanced by Canadian junior miners, including eCobalt Solutions and First Cobalt. Fieldwork, consisting of mapping and sampling and locating drill holes for the 2019 drilling programme, has been completed.
With a management team that has successfully constructed, commissioned and operated mines and low risk, mining-friendly jurisdictions with excellent infrastructure, Phoenix is looking to fulfil its ambitions to become a mid-tier base metal, precious metal and cobalt production company, offering exposure to three high value and high demand metals with compelling demand/supply fundamentals.