Foran Mining Corp. (TSXV: FOM) reported on Friday high-grade intercepts from three holes drilled during the 2021 exploration program at the Bigstone copper-zinc deposit, located 25 km southwest of its McIlvenna Bay deposit in east-central Saskatchewan.
The Bigstone deposit was first discovered in 1982 by a Granges Inc./SMDC (Cameco) joint venture, which continued exploration at the deposit and on regional targets elsewhere on the property until 1994. Several historic mineral resources have been prepared for the Bigstone deposit, the most recent by Cameco in 1990.
In 2012, Foran acquired 100% interest in the project, which holds the potential to serve as additional feed for a central mill based at McIlvenna Bay. The first NI 43-101 resource Estimate for Bigstone was released in December 2020.
Recent exploration drilling by Foran targeted resource growth at Bigstone by step-out drilling to potentially expand individual resource zones up/down-dip and along strike to the north and south, and infill drilling in certain areas to upgrade current inferred resources to indicated categories.
The 2021 drill program consisted of 14 holes in 5,716m, completed between August and October. These are the first drill holes since the company’s 2015 drill program, which uncovered one of the longest intersections ever recorded in the region, at 105m of 2.2% copper equivalent (CuEq).
Highlighting the latest drill results is hole BS-21-245, which returned 9.5m of 14.0% Zn, 0.42% Cu, 76.9 g/t Ag and 0.37 g/t Au, including 0.9m of 57.2% Zn, 0.28% Cu, 24.9 g/t Ag and 0.06 g/t Au.
These compare favourably to the existing indicated resource grade of the massive sulphide zone at Bigstone of 9.9% Zn, 0.25% Cu, 16.5 g/t Ag and 0.33 g/t Au.
Precious metal anomalies were also intercepted in two other holes at Bigstone, including 0.5m of 63.0 g/t Ag, 5.49 g/t Au in hole BS-21-246 and 0.5m of 454.0 g/t Ag and 2.06 g/t Au in hole BS-21-247. Hole BS-21-246 also hit 3.1% Cu within the same intercept.
“High-grade intercepts like these are rare and very exciting, and in the case of Foran, further emphasize the expansion opportunities at our already-established camp, and showcase what Hanson Lake District has to offer,” Dan Myerson, Foran’s executive chairman and CEO, stated in a news release.
“These are the first results at Bigstone since our initial and limited drilling campaign in 2015, and these intercepts from our 2021 program outline the ongoing opportunity to discover additional mineralization and potentially establish Bigstone as a high-grade deposit that could feed our future centralized milling facility at McIlvenna Bay.”
Myerson went on to say that: “We are especially positively surprised by the high-grade zinc intercepts as well as encouraged by the continuation of significant copper values, which continue to illustrate the robust nature of the Bigstone deposit, where we believe we are currently just scratching the surface of the potential of the entire Bigstone area.
“It is also very promising to encounter recurring gold and silver anomalies that could potentially lead to higher precious metal content within the deposit and could be discovered at other targets.”
Myerson believes the Bigstone deposit and the surrounding area have the potential to become “a key contributor” in Foran’s goal to develop the district into Canada’s next mining camp.
Shares in Foran Mining advanced 1.5% by 12:45 p.m. EDT. The copper-zinc development company has a market capitalization of C$565.9 million.