Tuesday saw Forum Energy Metals (TSX.V:FMC) announce the completion of a Rio Tinto-led exploration campaign on its Janice Lake sedimentary copper project in Canada.

Forum revealed it had received final assay results from the remaining 12 drill holes completed by Rio Tinto Exploration Canada, who undertook the work as part of a seven-year $30m option to earn 80% of Janice Lake. In combination with previous assays, the work has successfully confirmed and extended copper mineralisation at the asset’s Jansem and Janice targets.

At Jansem, nine holes in total have delineated copper mineralisation for 650m long by 200m wide by thicknesses of up to 66m. The target also remains open to the southwest and northeast and at depth. Highlight intersections from the latest round of work at Jansem include hole JANL0016, which intersected 51.8m grading 0.57% Cu and 1.50 g/t Ag. This includes 9.1m of 1.09% Cu and 1.39 g/t Ag and 5.0m grading 1.32% Cu and 3.42 g/t Ag.

Meanwhile, nine holes have delineated copper mineralisation for 1.2km long by 400m wide by thicknesses of up to 57m at the Janice target. Like Jansem, the target remains open to the southwest and northeast and at depth. Highlights from the latest round of drilling include hole JANL0007, which intersected 22m grading 0.37% Cu and 2.82 g/t Ag.

Elsewhere, Rio Tinto also drilled several holes at a Janice Lake target called Kaz. Hole JANL0011 was drilled to a depth of 274 metres and intersected mostly psammo-pelitic to pelitic gneisses and meta-conglomerates that contained minor remobilised native copper and rare chalcocite.   A significant fault was noted at 188m, and the remainder of the hole was in the lower Janice Lake Fm. meta-conglomerates.

The holes were located around 400-500 to the south of a historical copper showing at Kaz made by Noranda, who followed up a series of copper-bearing boulders with a hole that intersected 0.32% copper over 15m. Forum said that further drilling on the target would have to be located closer to the original holes to gain a greater understanding of this showing’s control and orientation.

Forum and Rio Tinto’s technical teams are now reviewing the latest round of drill data, and more thorough analysis and interpretation of results will be ‘forthcoming’.

Rick Mazur, Forum’s president and CEO, said Rio Tinto’s drilling programme had intersected thick zones of flat-lying, stratabound chalcocite and native copper mineralisation with excellent continuity and near-surface grades.

‘Deeper drilling has demonstrated that multiple horizons of copper mineralisation are present. We are gaining confidence that Janice Lake is a strongly mineralised system, as new data generated by this program helps us to understand the full potential of this 52km long sedimentary copper basin,’

Janice Lake, which is based in Saskatchewan’s Wollaston Domain, boasts a 52km-strike length containing significant concentrations of sediment-hosted copper showings. Drill core logging and petrographic studies have suggested that copper is hosted by mafic-rich stratigraphy within more felsic units at the asset, suggesting multiple layers of copper mineralisation could be present.

As well as developing targets for future drill programmes, Forum and Rio Tinto hope to determine the dip and attitude of copper mineralisation at Janice Lake while also locating its multiple strata-bound copper-bearing horizons.

Location of the target areas on the Janice Lake project (Source: Forum Energy Metals)

Tuesday’s update follows the news last month that Forum has launched a critical survey on its Fir Island uranium project in Canada to generate targets for a drill programme early next year.

The business has contracted Patterson Geophysics to complete a ground IP-resistivity survey at the asset, which is based on the north rim of Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin. This will consist of nine lines for approximately 32km targeting the East Channel structure- a significant lineament parallel to and associated with the Snowbird Tectonic Zone. This area is a major structural corridor that hosts Cameco’s Centennial deposit near the Athabasca Basin’s southern rim.

The latest survey is expected to complete by mid-December and aims to highlight areas of maximum alternation and tectonization associated with uranium mineralisation along the formation. It is expected to be followed by a diamond drill program next year and will be funded entirely by Orano Canada as part of its option agreement to earn up to a 70pc stake in Fir Island. As announced by Forum earlier in November, Orano can spend up to $6m in exploration by December 2023 to earn this position.

The north end of the East Channel was previously investigation by Forum in 2015 when five holes provided several excellent indicators for the discovery of nearby uranium mineralisation. That year also saw Forum complete five holes on the Snowbird Tectonic Zone, with one returning up to 63.8m at 0.48pc cobalt.

Author: Daniel Flynn

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