Happy Creek Minerals (HPY) has secured an amended exploration permit for its Fox tungsten project in British Columbia (BC), Canada.

The permit from the BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation allows the company to undertake extensive drilling, trenching and trail construction at the Fox project through late 2027.

HPY originally secured a multi-year area-based permit for the project in 2006. It has been amended several times since then.

HPY president and CEO Michael Cathro said: “The new Fox exploration permit amendment is an important step in value creation and advancement of the project towards eventual mine production. Previous drilling at Fox has outlined a very high-grade tungsten resource at shallow depths in the BN-RC-BK trend, with numerous opportunities for expansion between, adjacent to and at depth below the known deposits.

“With the recent increase in the tungsten price and recognition that Western democracies must develop a stable supply of critical minerals, now is a perfect time to aggressively advance this high-grade project.”

The company said the permit will allow for a significant expansion in new exploration work at the project.

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The work includes 505 surface drilling pads, 165 helicopter-portable drill pads, and 5.1km of new exploration access trail to connect the drilling area with logging roads, among others.

Each of the drill pads is expected to allow for the drilling of several holes based on specific targets and geological considerations.

In a press statement, HPY said: “Most importantly, this permit will allow the company to conduct much of our future work using surface access, which is a much safer and more cost-effective approach versus using helicopters. Drilling could begin by late June 2024.”

From 2023 to 2027, the company plans to undertake drilling work with the aim of at least tripling the existing 43-101 tungsten resource at the project.

The company will then undertake detailed engineering, environmental and feasibility studies.