Thomas told the Mining Journal Select Conference Empire was "the flagship project", a brownfield, past-producing, copper, gold, silver, zinc and tungsten underground mine near Mackay in Idaho.
An updated compliant resource completed in early May 2019 resulted in an increase from the PEA resources of 37% contained copper and 108% contained zinc. This resource would now be used as the basis for a bankable feasibility study scheduled for completion in mid-2020, said Thomas.
At Empire, it is estimated that only 1-2% of the potential ore system has been explored to date.
"Accordingly, there is significant opportunity to increase the resource through phased exploration; the current resources relate to the oxide resource only, with the exception of the Red Star discovery inferred resource, which remains open along strike and does not include the deeper, higher grade sulphides," Thomas said.
In addition, Phoenix has increased the claim area from 818 acres at the time of its acquisition to 5,717 acres, mainly to the northwest and west, and in so doing has increased the potential for additional oxide and sulphide resources by a total strike length of about 2,500m towards another brownfield mine, Horseshoe, which is now within the property boundary.