I’m looking to shake things up a bit here at Highballer. I’ve been thinking long and hard and I’ve decided to cover certain highly speculative companies in the pre-discovery phase of their cycles, and those following up on new discoveries with aggressive drill campaigns. The goal is to deliver a more dynamic, broad-ranging read (I follow the junior sector headlines daily).

Examples: Sokoman (an advanced stage central-NFLD exploreco), Skyharbour (a Basin-based uranium exploreco), Azimut (a company I featured in my maiden Highballer article 19-months back (has it really been that long?)), and Discovery Harbour (a sub-$10M Nevada exploreco currently drilling off multiple targets in a low sulphidation epithermal setting), are the kind of companies that will find their way onto these pages from hereon.

I’ll call in this new format next go-round.

Forum Energy Metals (FMC.V)

  • 159.64 million shares outstanding
  • $48.69M market cap based on its recent $0.305 close

Forum’s Love Lake project, located in the mining-friendly province of Saskatchewan, generated a headline on August 10th.

The Love Lake project

Love Lake is a wholly-owned early-stage Ni-Cu-PGM project encompassing some 32,075 hectares of the Love Lake Complex, a 2.56 billion-year-old, palladium enriched layered gabbroic intrusive.

The Peter Lake Domain in northern Saskatchewan is the largest mafic/ultramafic complex in North America second only to the Duluth Complex which is centered in the heart of the Midcontinent Rift System in Minnesota and Ontario and is host to numerous magmatic copper/nickel and platinum/palladium deposits. For over 250 km of the Peter Lake Domain numerous copper/nickel and platinum/palladium showings have been uncovered over the past fifty years that have received only sporadic exploration.

The August 10th headline…

Forum Commences Drilling at Love Lake Nickel/Copper/Palladium Project, Saskatchewan

This Love Lake campaign, which represents a first pass with the drill bit, will test three high-priority targets…

  • The Korvin Lake target—4 holes for 1,600 meters
  • The Korvin Creek target—2 holes for 400 meters
  • The What Lake target—6 holes for 1,000 meters

Obviously, drill bit success at any one of these targets will impact/alter the drill plan.

According to this August 10th press release…

Processing of the HeliSAM Time Domain Electromagnetic (EM) survey flown on five grids on the property (see News Release dated May 10, 2021) has identified an EM target on the Korvin Grid at a depth of 170 meters that will be drilled for magmatic nickel-copper – PGM mineralization. The first hole at Korvin Lake is planned for a total depth of 500 metres to crosscut this anomaly while subsequent holes will be planned after downhole EM probes are conducted.

As stated above, this first hole will see some downhole geophysics to help vector in on a potential orebody. Of course, they could tag significant mineralization in this first hole without the subsurface (EM) probe.

Sulphides Within Mafic Rocks from the Korvin Lake Trenches

Further to the north in the vicinity of this EM anomaly, Forum plans to also conduct high frequency MaxMin Horizontal Loop EM surveys and follow-up drilling over copper mineralization at Korvin Creek drilled in 1968 and Nickel-Copper-PGM mineralization trenched in the late 1968 and drilled in 2000 at What Lake (map further up the page).

The Korvin Creek target was covered by a series of trenches for over a one kilometre strike length and two drill holes intersected copper mineralization over 31.7 metres grading 0.23% copper and 36.6 metres of 0.29% copper. No assays for platinum group metals were taken.

The geological sleuths at Forum don’t believe the Korvin Creek target was fairly evaluated back in the day—these two holes saw no follow-up drilling.

The What Lake trenches returned values as high as 0.43% Copper, 0.23% Nickel, 4275 ppb Palladium, 3580 ppb Platinum, and 200 ppb Gold. Mapping by the Saskatchewan Geological Survey and Forum geologists concluded that drilling in 2000 was drilled in the wrong direction and would have missed reef-style or structural-style PGM mineralization.

Whether they input the wrong azimuth coordinates or had their map turned upside down, previous operators failed to tee up the What Lake target with any measure of appreciation.

Final thoughts

Forum management employs the prospect generator business model, but they prefer to carry out at least one round of drilling with their early-stage projects, after the stage is set with good science—a purposeful round of geochem and geophysics. The goal is to add value to the project before a JV partner is brought in to do the heavy lifting.

If management feels strong enough about the subsurface potential, they’ll give it a second pass with the drill bit.

This Love Lake campaign overlaps current drilling taking place at Forum’s flagship Janice Lake Cu-Ag project 60 kilometers to the southwest—a project boasting a $30 million JV with mining giant Rio Tinto Exploration Canada (RTEC).

When I chatted with Forum’s CEO, Rick Mazur, on August 9th, RTEC had eight holes in the bag and was in the midst of an aggressive mapping and prospecting campaign. At one point, ground crews were contending with two forest fires bookending the 39,943-hectare property (the crews worked around these flare-ups with no suspension of activity).


—Greg Nolan

Full disclosure: Forum is a Highballer client (color me biased).

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