VANCOUVER — It's been a busy start of the year for explorer Forum Uranium (TSXV: FDC; US-OTC: FDCFF) with a pair of drill programs on opposing margins of Saskatchewan's prolific Athasbasca Basin.
The company's sizable regional uranium portfolio is geographically diverse, but its two most active assets include a stake in the Northwest Athabasca joint venture — alongside partners Cameco (TSX: CCO; NYSE: CCJ) and junior NexGen Energy (TSXV: NXE) — and the wholly-owned Clearwater project, which sits next to Fission Uranium's (TSXV: FCU; US-OTC: FCUUF) Patterson Lake South (PLS) discovery.
Clearwater was the result of strategic staking initiative ahead of a regional rush around Patterson Lake following Fission's inaugural drill holes, with Forum scoring a 99-sq.km property position adjoining PLS to the southwest. Since the area had been so unexplored Clearwater is at the greenfield stage, and the company's 2,300-metre drill initiative in early 2014 was essentially a scout program.
Forum focused on nine, widely-spaced targets, including a number of gravity lows, radon anomalies and electro-magnetic (EM) conductors both on strike and running parallel to the PLS trend. Drilling identified five major structural trends with reactivated graphitic-shear zones, alteration, and areas of localized radioactivity.
The company reported all its EM conductor targets intersected brecciated graphite-pyrite in reactivated faults, with two holes — namely CW-07 and CW-08 — returning "a mix of strong chloritization, variable bleaching and localized secondary hematite, indicating oxidized fluids."
Meanwhile, Forum saw some promising signs at its Mongo target, which it interprets as the southwestern extension of the Patterson Lake structure, with hole CW-05 returning what the company describes as "elevated radioactivity" from minor graphite, brittle-ductile breccia zones. The company also tested targets along what it calls the "eastern arm" of the PLS structure, with hole CW-09 intersecting strongly-altered and corroded, weakly graphitic pelitic gneiss with locally elevated radioactivity.
"The combination of sub-vertical reactivated graphitic shear zones, intense alteration in the upper sections of the holes and the occasional occurrence of secondary hematite is indicative of the type of environment for transporting uranium bearing fluids," noted vice-president exploration Ken Wheatley in the release. "We still have plenty of targets to drill along these structural corridors on the northern claim, and have yet to begin drilling the southern claims with their conductive trends, airborne-radiometric anomalies and high uranium values in the lake sediments."
Forum's other exploration initiative to start the year involved a 2,900-metre drill program at the Maurice Bay deposit on the Northwest Athabasca project. Forum shares a 64% stake in the property with NexGen, and the companies were looking to confirm historic high-grade mineralization identified by previous operators. On May 1 Forum reported that three of the five exploration targets — including Otis West, Zone A and Maurice Bay East — returned positive results. Maurice Bay currently has a non-compliant historic resource of 600,000 tonnes grading 0.6% U308.
Three holes punched at Otis West extended the mineralized strength length at the target by around 40% to 70 metres. The company reports that mineralization, which is hosted in the basement rocks, remains open to the east. Otis West extends for 400 metres as a strong gravity low along the Otis fault, which runs parallel to the Maurice Bay fault.
At Zone A three holes were drilled to target an interpreted north-south strike extension of a previous intercept that graded 1.34% U308 over 3 metres from 90 metres down hole. Hole NWA-77, located 15 metres to the north, intersected elevated radiometrics in three separate sections in the overlying sandstone, including immediately above the unconformity at 71 metres depth.
Forum closed a $3 million private placement in late March, wherein in issued 4.5 million flow-through units at a price of 55¢ per unit and 1.14 common units at 50¢ each. The company has traded within a 52-week window of 25¢ and 68¢, and closed up 10% following its confirmation results at Maurice Bay en route to a 28¢ close at the time of writing. Forum maintains 30.2 million shares outstanding for an $8.45 million press-time market capitalization.
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