This week saw Forum Energy Metals (TSX.V-FMC) unveil a $6m option agreement with Orano Canada for its Fir Island uranium project – marking the firm’s second deal with a major miner this year. Forum has granted Orano – one of the world’s largest uranium miners – a series of options to acquire up to a 70pc interest in the mineral claims and associated property comprising the Canadian project.
To earn this full position, Orano must spend a total of $6m on Fir Island on or before 31 December 2023. However, it also has the option to earn a 51pc interest by spending $3m on or before 31 December 2021. Meanwhile, Forum will remain Fir Island’s operator until the point at which Orano has taken a 51pc stake.
Fir Island is located in the Black Lake area of Saskatchewan, along the northern rim of the Athabasca Basin. Notably, it overlies the Snowbird Tectonic Zone, a major structural corridor that host’s Cameco’s Centennial deposit near the Athabasca Basin’s southern rim.
Forum drilled ten holes at the project in 2015 to test the Snowbird and East Channel faults. The holes intersected numerous strong indicators of nearby uranium mineralisation as well as the presence of anomalous uranium, boron, and base metals. Following this, gravity, geochemical, and electromagnetic surveys completed in 2016 and 2017 identified targets for follow-up drilling while soil sampling returned values of up to 3,350 part per million boron.
Forum now plans to complete a resistivity survey by the end of the year before beginning a 3,000m drill programme next winter.
This week’s deal comes several months after Forum revealed that Rio Tinto Exploration had entered a seven-year, $30m option to earn 80pc of its Janice Lake project.
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.
Rio Tinto Exploration is planning to spend $3m (CDN) on Janice Lake in 2019 and has already completed a 21-hole (5,209m) drill program as well as a detailed airborne magnetic survey. As well as developing targets for future drill programmes, the business hopes to determine the dip and attitude of copper mineralisation at Janice Lake while also locating its multiple strata-bound copper-bearing horizons.
Rio Tinto has already delivered many highly promising assay results from its work, significantly building up the project’s strike length and width. A detailed description of the most up-to-date results from this work can be found here.
In the video below, Forum’s director Burns Singh Tennent Bhohi discusses the Fir Island deal in more detail, as well providing an in-depth review of the project’s potential and Orano’s plans.