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CASA GRANDE — A company that plans to reopen a dormant copper mine near Casa Grande reports test drills have confirmed “high-grade mineralization” around the site.

Elim Mining Inc., a private copper exploration and development company, said seven holes, totaling 9,009 feet, were drilled around Cactus Mine, northwest of Casa Grande.

In a press release, the company said significant findings from the drilling include:

  • Drilling confirms continuous and potentially economic mineralized intercepts adjacent to the pit in Cactus West, supporting Elim Mining’s view of a potential open pit layback opportunity to the south, west and north of the historic pit.
  • In Cactus East, drilling confirms the extension of high-grade enriched mineralization to the north and west and at shallower depths than the existing historically mineralized intercepts.
  • Drilling results in both Cactus West and East confirm heap leach material types of oxide and enriched copper supporting interpretations and the potential for an open pit heap leach project.
  • Most holes in Cactus West and East were terminated in primary sulfide mineralization consisting of chalcopyrite and pyrite suggesting potential for further sulphide copper mineralization at depth.
  • All holes drilled by this program were designed to contribute to the Cactus project mineral resource model expected for release in the first quarter of 2021.

“We are thrilled to note that these initial step-out drilling results confirm the results of the historic drilling and is an encouraging step towards expanding our internal geologic model,” John Antwi, Elim Mining president and CEO, said in a statement. This drill program is focused on the resource expansion of the Cactus deposits and will lead into studies relating to reopening Cactus as a multiphased copper porphyry operation.

“We continue to find strong grades and thicknesses around the pit in all directions,” Antwi said. “The exploration results indicate the mineralization extends well beyond the known deposits.”

The company said results to date from this new round of step-out drilling demonstrate that oxide and enriched mineralization is laterally continuous away from the known mineralized zones in the Cactus West Pit for about 500 feet, with copper grades similar to what was projected by modeling.

Elim Mining hopes to build a multiphase, multibillion-pound copper porphyry project on the site. The company is initially focused on resource development of the Cactus Mine, which is a re-start of the former Sacaton mine, operated by ASARCO through 1984. That company mined the pit and started an underground phase that later was abandoned.

Copyright Business Wire 2020.

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