This week saw Forum Energy Metals (TSX.V:FMC) up the ante in Saskatchewan by taking full ownership of the highly prospective Janice Lake copper project.

On Monday, the Canadian explorer revealed that it had reached an agreement with the property’s former owner Transition Metals to accelerate its option to acquire a 100% position. The move comes two years ahead of schedule and waves $150,000 of scheduled option payments.

Janice Lake has become an increasingly exciting opportunity over the past year and a half thanks to millions of dollars’ worth of drilling and exploration by Rio Tinto. Rio first entered a US$30 million option to take an 80% stake in the project in May 2019 after a successful first-pass drilling campaign by Forum encountered strong copper grades along a 6km trend.

At the end of September, the major miner completed its summer exploration program at Janice Lake. This included 25 holes for 818 metres on seven targets located on historical copper showings and structural and geophysical targets identified on the property. Meanwhile, mapping and sampling crews took 525 outcrop samples over the full 52-kilometre extent of Janice Lake as well as completing some 30 kilometres of surveying across two targets called Jansem and Rafuse.

Rio is now interpreting its work through ongoing assaying and geochemical analysis with results expected to help refine future drill targets for a planned drilling program in 2021.

The age and depositional environment at Janice is similar to the giant Udokan Deposits of the Lake Baikal region in Siberia, and the Revette deposits of Montana. Baikal Mining Company reports JORC-compliant Measured and Indicated resources of 1.822 billion tonnes grading 1.01% copper, 14.3 grams per tonne silver for the Udokan deposits.

“Immediate 100% ownership by Forum is an important step forward for the advancement of the Janice Lake project as Rio Tinto explores the property under its option,” said Forum’s president and CEO Rick Mazur on Monday.

Janice Lake isn’t Forum’s only quality project in Saskatchewan.

It also owns the Fir Island property in the region, where drilling earlier this year confirmed the continuity of a target structure showing signs of uranium mineralization. The work was funded by Orano Canada, which has entered an option to acquire 70% of the project in exchange US$6 million of exploration spend. Forum has now proposed a much more extensive drilling campaign at Fir Island to build on its exciting results.

Meanwhile, the company also owns the Love Lake project in north-east Saskatchewan, where work recently identified two target areas prospective for magmatic nickel-copper-palladium-platinum deposits.

Author: Daniel Flynn

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