Mining company Rio Tinto Exploration Canada (RTEC) has started drilling on Forum Energy Metals’ Janice Lake copper/silver project, in Saskatchewan.
Two drill rigs are initially testing the Rafuse target, a 2.8-km-long priority target of surface copper mineralisation that was developed during RTEC's mapping, prospecting and geophysical programme this past summer.
Forum notes that past historical drilling neither went deep enough, nor far enough along strike to evaluate the possibility of multiple layers of shallow copper mineralisation amenable to openpit mining.
Drilling of nine holes at Rafuse in 1969 to a maximum depth of 62 m returned up to 17 m of 0.68% copper and two holes drilled in 1993 by Noranda to a maximum depth of 128 m returned 21.7 m of 0.19% copper.
Rio Tinto plans to focus initial drilling at the Rafuse target area, followed by potential drilling at the Jansem, Juno and Roberts showing areas that are easily accessible during the winter months.
Forum entered into an agreement granting RTEC a four-year option to acquire a 51% interest in the Janice Lake by spending $10-million in exploration. Rio can earn a further 29% interest (total 80%) by spending another $20-million in exploration over three years (total $30-million) and making further cash payments of $150 000 to Forum (total $640 000).