North American base and precious metals exploration company Phoenix Global Mining Ltd. recently announced an updated resource for its Empire Copper Mine oxide open pit in Idaho, USA. Its measured and indicated resource has increased 45.6% to 15.17 million metric tons (mt) from the previous amount announced in April 2018 of 10.42 million mt.

These results were based on the work completed over the past 12 months, which included 8,604 meters of drilling in 93 holes, the company said. The measured and indicated open-pit resource at a 0.184% copper cut-off grade, compared to the April 2018 PEA resource at the same cut-off grade, has increased as follows: copper, 73,872 mt (April 2018: 53,755 mt), which was an increase of 37.4%; zinc of 29,813 mt (April 2018: 14,311 mt), which was an increase of 108.3%; gold of 139,000 ounces (April 2018: 79,000 ounces), which was an increase of 75.9%; and silver of 6.04 million ounces (April 2018: 3.56 million ounces), which was an increase of 69.6%.

The company said it will fast track into production with a planned annual production rate of 8,000 mt of copper and zinc at an average head grade of 0.61% copper.

The company also reported a maiden inferred sulphide resource at the recently discovered Red Star Zone averaging 173.4 g/mt (5.6 oz) silver, 3.85% lead, 0.33% copper, 0.92% zinc and 0.85 g/mt gold.

“Our goal for the 2018 drilling program was to increase measured and indicated resources by way of infill drilling to upgrade Inferred resources, and to increase overall resources by way of a step out drilling program,” CEO Dennis Thomas said. “We are excited to have accomplished both.”

Empire is Phoenix’s flagship project near Mackay in Idaho. It acquired an 80% interest in the property in 2015.