Tuesday saw Canadian exploration business Forum Energy Metals (TSX.V:FMC) reveal that an airborne geophysical survey has kicked off over its highly prospective Janice Lake copper project.

The work was initiated by Rio Tinto Exploration Canada (RTEC), Forum’s partner on the northern Saskatchewan-based asset, and it will be completed by geophysical contractor CGG. It also precedes the mobilisation of two rigs for a 7,000m drill program that is expected to start later this month.

Copper at Janice Lake is hosted in multiple, shallow-dipping layers of stratabound chalcocite mineralisation with late-stage native copper mineralisation, as determined by earlier work undertaken by Forum. Also, mapping by the Saskatchewan Geological Survey has determined that the copper-bearing strata have been repeated by faulting, adding to the asset’s potential.  In Tuesday’s update, Forum reiterated that these geological attributes confirm the exploration potential for finding a large tonnage open pit deposit at Janice Lake.

To build on this potential, CGG will cover 430km2 at a 100m line spacing with a helicopter-borne magnetometer stringer survey. According to Forum, this technology can provide high-resolution information that will aid in locating drill targets in the sedimentary layers hosting copper at Janice Lake.

Investigations completed by the company in a drilling programme last year suggested that the higher grades of copper are associated with magnetite and mafic-rich layers in the strata. Indeed, all four of the company’s drill holes intersected shallow chalcocite, bornite, and native copper mineralisation above 80m in depth.  Among the highlights was Hole FEM-01, which intersected 18.5m (59.0 to 77.5m downhole depth) grading 0.94pc copper and 6.7 g/t silver including 5.2m grading 2.22pc copper and 16.5 g/t silver

RTEC is planning to spend around CDN$3m on Janice Lake in 2019 as part of a seven-year, $30m option to earn an 80pc position in the project, the terms of which Forum revealed to the market in May. At the time of announcing the major opportunity, Forum’s president and chief executive Rick Mazur said:

‘We are pleased to partner with Rio Tinto, a Tier One metals and mining company which has long been recognised for its industry-leading track record for exploration discoveries. Their expertise and proprietary technology will add significant value to potentially making an economic copper discovery at Janice Lake for our shareholders.”

To read our feature interview with Mazur and Forum’s VP exploration Ken Wheatley, in which they discuss Janice Lake, their decision to enter the copper sector, and progress across the firm’s other assets, click here.

Author: Daniel Flynn

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