ASX-listed mining company American West Metals has purchased an 80% ownership of the Storm copper project in Nunavut, Canada, from Aston Bay, following the completion of its expenditure requirement.

American West and Aston Bay entered the option deal in March 2021, under which the former was granted the exclusive right and an option to acquire an 80% stake in the project after completing project exploration expenditures amounting to C$10m ($7.37m).

The exploration expenditure was completed during this year’s drilling programme and the company exercised its option.

The two companies will now form a joint venture (JV), where American West will own 80% of the Storm project and Aston Bay will hold the remaining stake. American West will also act as the manager of the JV.

American West Metals managing director Dave O’Neill said: “Building on the outstanding and ongoing success of the drilling and exploration programmes at Storm, we are pleased to report that American West has now completed the earn-in for an 80% interest in the Storm Project.

“This has been a defining year for the Storm Project with significant expansion of the near-surface high-grade copper and a breakthrough discovery of the deeper, regional sediment-hosted copper system.

“Securing an 80% interest in Storm through the efficient and timely completion of exploration programmes required under the option agreement is a fantastic outcome for the company and our shareholders.”

The Storm project is located near existing mines such as the Polaris Zinc-Lead mine and the Nanisivik Zinc-Lead-Silver mine. It is situated 15km from the coast, offering robust logistics.

The project comprises 219,257 hectares of land and hosts more than 80km strike of prospective stratigraphy.

Since signing the option agreement, American West has completed systematic exploration focusing on defining maiden resources and expanding the footprint of near-surface copper mineralisation as well as exploring sediment-hosted copper at depth.

The company used a broad range of geophysics such as high-resolution electromagnetics, ground gravity and ground magnetics surveys to determine targets for both resource expansion and exploration drilling.

Approximately 11,290m of reverse circulation and diamond drilling was conducted by the company.

American West claims that the project has near-surface mineralisation thanks to the discovery of Thunder and Lightning Ridge deposits, along with a deeper, sediment-hosted copper system.

The two companies plan to increase resource and exploration programmes at the project next year.