Ambler Metals, the joint venture operating company equally owned by Trilogy Metals (TSX/NYSE: TMQ) and South32 Limited (LSE: S32) approved the 2021 program and budget of approximately $27 million for the advancement of the Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects (UKMP) in Northwestern Alaska.
According to the company, activities will focus on an additional 7,600 meters of drilling, which will have the dual purpose of extracting additional material for metallurgical work and for the conversion of mineral resources into the measured category.
“The proposed budget is expected to have a twofold positive impact for the company in that we will continue to de-risk the Arctic project and we will also move forward in unlocking the mineral potential within the 100-km-long VMS mineral belt, as well as around the Bornite copper/cobalt deposit,” said Trilogy CEO Tony Giardini in a media release.
The UKMP project has a combined resource of 8 billion pounds of copper, 3 billion pounds of zinc and 1 million ounces of gold equivalent.
The company expects to submit permit applications under the Clean Water Act to the United States Army Corps of Engineers during the second half of 2021.
Ambler Metals plans to conduct a 7,000-meter regional exploration drill campaign at the Sunshine prospect and at other drill-ready targets.
The drill program is expected to commence in mid-July and finish before the end of September. The drilling will be preceded by detailed geologic mapping, geochemical soil sampling, and ground geophysics.
The companies announced that the JV will be led by Ambler president and CEO Ramzi Fawaz, VP operations Kevin Torpy and VP finance Rebecca Donald.
The Ambler Metals joint venture was formed in February. Trilogy contributed all its assets associated with the 172,675-hectare UKMP, including the Arctic and Bornite projects, while South32 contributed $145 million.