(Sharecast News) - North America-focussed base and precious metals explorer and producer Phoenix Copper announced on Wednesday that Alford Drilling, formerly AK Drilling, of Elko, Nevada has been awarded the contracts for the 2021 Navarre Creek reverse circulation and the Red Star and Horseshoe diamond core drilling programmes.
The AIM-traded firm also said that Drillrite of Reno, Nevada was awarded the contracts for the 2021 Empire deep sulphide drilling, and for the drilling and construction of hydrological monitoring wells.
"Work is progressing well with our Empire Mine development programme and preparations continue apace for the commencement of our exploration programmes as previously stated," said chief executive officer Ryan McDermott.
He said the core drilling at Red Star would be a follow-up to last year's programme, but with the benefit of David Rodgers' 2020 field work and subsequent report, as well as the results of the planned electromagnetic survey scheduled for May and June.
The Navarre Creek drilling programme, meanwhile, would be a continuation of the 2020 exploration season using the surface sampling assay results combined with the results of the planned electromagnetic survey also scheduled for May and June, site conditions permitting.
McDermott said the Navarre programme would be results-oriented, and could continue into 2022.
"Because we believe the results of the electromagnetic surveys at both Red Star and Navarre will be critical for drill hole targeting, and those surveys cannot be completed until the snow has melted, both drilling programmes are expected to commence during the third quarter.
"We are currently proposing to drill 1,500 metres at Red Star and Horseshoe, and 3,000 metres at Navarre Creek."
The CEO said the deep sulphide and hydrological drilling at Empire were also subject to site conditions, although they were not dependent on the completion of geophysical surveying and were thus expected to begin late in the second quarter.
Phoenix expected to drill up to 4,500 metres in the deep sulphides, and approximately 1,500 metres of hydrological drilling.
"The company is executing these field-based programmes using the results from the 2020 field season and utilising the funding from the recent equity raise.
"As always, the company is putting shareholder dollars to work in well-organised field programmes that increase the likelihood of adding shareholder value."
At 1227 BST, shares in Phoenix Copper were up 1.18% at 34.4p.
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