Foran Mining Corporation
TSX VENTURE : FOM

Foran Mining Corporation

May 20, 2015 08:00 ET

Foran Completes Winter Program With High-Grade Copper and/or Zinc in All Holes Drilled at Bigstone

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - May 20, 2015) -

  • The final three of six infill holes drilled at the Bigstone deposit continued to intersect broad intervals of copper+/-zinc with all holes in the program intersecting significant mineralization
  • Highlights from the final three drill holes include:
    • 2.5% Cu over 53.6m (including 4.0% Cu over 12.3m) in BS-15-242,
    • 2.5% Cu over 58.0m (including 3.8% Cu over 15.3m) and 11.2% Zn over 3.0m in BS-15-243, and
    • 5.1% Zn and 778 g/t Ag over 4.8m (including 32.4% Zn and 2,322 g/t Ag over 1.58m), followed further downhole by 1.2% Cu and 7.8% Zn over 29.0m in BS-15-244(1)
  • The Company is completing historic drill hole data compilation and validation and plans to proceed with initial metallurgical testwork on the Bigstone deposit and evaluate next steps for advancement

Foran Mining Corporation (TSX VENTURE:FOM) ("Foran" or the "Company") is pleased to announce the results of the final three infill drill holes at the Bigstone deposit. Six holes were drilled at the Bigstone deposit as part of the winter 2015 exploration program (the "Program").

Patrick Soares, President and CEO of Foran commented "The recently completed drill program exceeded our expectations. The Thunder Zone is thickening along strike to the northwest and open in both directions. High-grade zinc and copper intercepts from the Thunder Zone indicate potential to outline a deposit within seven kilometres of McIlvenna Bay." Mr. Soares continued "Our work at Bigstone has demonstrated that the deposit may be open to expansion and that it could be a source of early high-grade feed to a future McIlvenna Bay concentrator. We plan to continue to look at the synergies between McIlvenna Bay and the surrounding satellite deposits, as Foran Management believes that once the first deposit gets to production, the Hanson Lake Camp has the potential to be a long-lived source of copper and zinc concentrate."

The Program included drilling 4,459m (1,914m in five drill holes at the Thunder Zone on the Balsam property and 2,545m in six drill holes at the Bigstone deposit), as well as surface and borehole geophysics.

(1) Cu = copper, Zn = zinc, Au = gold, Ag = silver, m = metres; see Tables 1 & 2 for Result Summary.

Table 1. Bigstone Drill Holes BS-15-242 to BS-15-244 Result Summary.

Hole ID From
(m)
To
(m)
Int.1
(m)
CuEq2
(%)
ZnEq2
(%)
Cu3
(%)
Zn3
(%)
Au3
(g/t)
Ag3
(g/t)
Type4
BS-15-242 278.60 281.08 2.48 - 21.55 0.24 18.51 0.49 52.1 MS
281.08 282.80 1.72 2.44 - 0.95 0.45 1.42 49.8 DSS
314.20 322.50 8.30 - 5.98 0.21 5.03 0.15 2.3 DSS
331.27 384.84 53.57 2.83 - 2.54 0.11 0.21 14.7 DSS
Incl. 342.68 355.00 12.32 4.35 - 3.98 0.12 0.22 20.7
388.84 397.70 8.86 1.40 - 1.19 0.09 0.14 9.4 DSS
Incl. 390.84 393.30 2.46 2.71 - 2.26 0.15 0.34 20.7
400.23 410.17 9.94 0.94 - 0.81 0.11 0.06 5.7 DSS
BS-15-243 190.65 192.50 1.85 - 5.89 0.08 5.44 0.08 2.6 DSS,SMS
214.96 216.50 1.54 1.55 - 1.18 0.12 0.30 16.6 DSS
236.00 294.00 58.00 2.71 - 2.49 0.14 0.17 7.9 DSS
Incl. 242.50 257.75 15.25 4.11 - 3.82 0.21 0.18 12.3
& 284.70 293.08 8.38 3.92 - 3.44 0.13 0.51 12.7
320.43 323.40 2.97 - 11.64 0.11 11.16 0.06 1.7 DSS
BS-15-244 287.66 292.50 4.84 - 36.56 0.16 15.07 0.32 777.9 MS
Incl. 287.66 289.24 1.58 - 95.91 0.36 32.39 0.76 2322.8
353.96 383.00 29.04 4.16 12.17 1.19 7.77 0.31 13.3 DSS
Incl. 356.67 358.42 1.75 4.54 13.27 0.40 11.64 0.17 5.7
& 367.75 383.00 15.25 5.37 15.70 1.10 11.72 0.25 11.1
400.20 402.00 1.80 1.40 - 1.28 0.03 0.09 6.7 DSS
(1) downhole distance (true thickness estimated at approximately 60% of downhole distance);
(2) CuEq = copper equivalent, ZnEq = zinc equivalent, CuEq and ZnEq calculations based on Cu= $2.63/lb., Zn =-$0.90/lb., Au = $1164/oz., Ag = $16/oz.;
(3) Cu = copper, Zn = zinc, Au = gold, Ag = silver;
(4) MS = massive sulphide, SMS = semi-massive sulphide DSS = disseminated and stringer sulphides.

Bigstone Deposit Drilling

The Bigstone deposit is a volcanogenic massive sulphide ("VMS") deposit located 25 km southwest of Foran's McIlvenna Bay VMS deposit ("McIlvenna Bay") in east-central Saskatchewan. The Company announced the results of a positive preliminary economic assessment for McIlvenna Bay in late 2014 (see the Foran news release dated Nov. 12, 2014).

The Bigstone deposit has an historic mineral resource with both zinc- and copper-rich zones (Table 3). The copper-rich Main Zone occurs as a vertically oriented, flattened, cylindrical shaped body, in part drill tested between 100 and 700m below surface.

The principal objective of the Program at Bigstone was to test the central portion of the deposit at depths of 200 to 350m below surface to infill the historic resource and gain a better understanding of the deposit geology. Drill intersections from the Program will support the validation of the historic drillhole database and aid in the completion of an updated mineral resource estimate (Figures 1, 2 and 3). Large diameter HQ drill core has also provided sample material for initial metallurgical testwork.
Similar to the first three drill holes from Bigstone (see the Foran news releases dated April 1, 17 and 30, 2015), the final three holes from the Program all encountered good widths of high-grade copper and/or zinc mineralization (Tables 2 and 3).

Table 2. Bigstone Drill Holes BS-15-239 to BS-15-241 Result Summary (also see the Foran news releases dated April 1, April 17 and April 30, 2015).

Hole ID From
(m)
To
(m)
Interval1
(m)
CuEq2
(%)
ZnEq2
(%)
Cu3
(%)
Zn3
(%)
Au3
(g/t)
Ag3
(g/t)
Type4
BS-15-239
301.40 303.50 2.10 - 5.39 0.21 4.59 0.03 5.0 MS
327.56 432.50 104.94 2.20 - 2.03 0.12 0.10 6.4 DSS, SMS, MS
Incl. 333.70 354.05 20.35 4.38 - 4.11 0.14 0.25 7.3 DSS, SMS
& 363.00 382.00 19.00 3.36 - 3.16 0.19 0.08 9.6 DSS, SMS, MS
BS-15-240
339.00 350.78 11.78 - 20.86 0.26 18.42 0.38 32.4 MS
Incl. 339.85 347.47 7.62 - 30.01 0.31 27.03 0.37 45.3 MS
378.45 392.77 14.32 - 2.38 0.10 1.88 0.07 2.27 DSS
Incl. 380.56 387.85 7.29 - 3.15 0.15 2.57 0.04 1.8 DSS
418.74 429.33 10.59 1.53 - 1.42 0.08 0.06 5.2 DSS
Incl. 425.89 428.56 2.67 3.02 - 2.83 0.14 0.08 9.8 DSS
445.00 453.47 8.47 1.50 - 1.28 0.09 0.17 8.9 DSS
Incl. 447.07 452.56 5.49 1.98 - 1.69 0.12 0.22 11.5 DSS
BS-15-241 199.16
234.00
201.67
265.00
2.51
31.00
-
3.16
2.99
-
0.08
2.59
2.50
0.13
0.08
0.67
4.26
10.8
MS, DSS,SMS
Incl. 237.50 260.95 23.45 3.76 - 3.07 0.14 0.85 12.7 DSS,SMS
268.50 300.00 31.50 1.34 - 1.17 0.09 0.12 6.2 DSS
Incl. 291.00 299.00 8.00 2.54 - 2.18 0.13 0.31 13.1 DSS
311.00 334.50 23.50 2.06 - 1.54 0.51 0.36 13.9 DSS
Incl. 312.00 314.45 2.45 6.92 - 6.00 0.28 0.69 43.8 DSS
& 332.30 333.50 1.20 - 8.47 0.16 7.74 0.08 4.5 DSS,SMS
338.70 340.20 1.50 - 10.17 0.34 8.98 0.07 2.5 DSS, SMS
(1) downhole distance (true thickness estimated at approximately 60% of downhole distance);
(2) CuEq = copper equivalent, ZnEq = zinc equivalent, CuEq and ZnEq calculations based on Cu= $2.63/lb., Zn =-$0.90/lb., Au = $1164/oz., Ag = $16/oz.;
(3) Cu = copper, Zn = zinc, Au = gold, Ag = silver;
(4) MS = massive sulphide, SMS = semi-massive sulphide DSS = disseminated and stringer sulphides.

Historically, the Bigstone deposit consisted of two mineralized horizons, a copper-rich body now called the Main Zone which makes up the bulk of the resource, and an overlying zinc-rich massive sulphide horizon which occurs in the hangingwall to the Main Zone. Results of the Program also indicate potential for a third zone of mineralization in the deposit, consisting primarily of zinc-rich stringer-style sulphides occurring peripheral and/or transitional to the Main Zone. This zone appears to have been intersected in numerous holes from the Program, including: BS-15-240, 241, 242, 243 and potentially 244.

Main Zone sulphides are associated with intensely iron and silica altered volcanic rocks. Mineralization consists of chalcopyrite, pyrrhotite, pyrite +/- magnetite, arsenopyrite which occur in a combination of semi-massive, disseminated and stringer styles of mineralization. The zinc-rich massive sulphide zone consists of massive to semi-massive sphalerite, pyrrhotite and/or pyrite, which is often associated with minor stringer-style mineralization and often contains high concentrations of dark red and coarse grained sphalerite. The zinc-rich stringer zone generally occurs as sphalerite-rich stringers with lesser pyrrhotite, pyrite and/or chalcopyrite in bleached and silicified volcanic rocks.

Drill hole BS-15-242 on Section 1625N intersected the same high-grade Zn-rich massive sulphide zone encountered approximately 50m down-dip in BS-15-240 (Figure 2 and Tables 2 and 3). This was followed by a zone of Zn-rich stringer style mineralization and below this a broad interval of copper-rich disseminated and stringer-style sulphide mineralization in the Main Zone.

Drill hole BS-15-243 is the northernmost hole drilled in the Program. This drill hole cut Zn-rich massive sulphide followed by a broad interval of Cu-rich Main Zone mineralization, similar to that encountered in drill holes BS-15-239 and BS-15-241 50m along strike to the southwest. BS-15-243 also intersected an interval of stringer-style zinc-rich mineralization (2.97m grading 11.16% Zn) located below the Main zone which appears to be related to the new zone of mineralization identified during the Program.

Drill hole BS-15-244 is the southernmost hole drilled in the Program. This drill hole also cut the Zn-rich massive sulphide zone, approximately 25m southwest along strike from the high-grade Zn intercept in BS-15-240. Similar to BS-15-240, this hole returned very high zinc and silver grades (15.1% Zn, 777.9g/t Ag and 0.32g/t Au (36.56% CuEq) over 4.84m, including 32.4% Zn, 2,322.8g/t Ag, and 0.76g/t Au (95.9% ZnEq) over 1.58m from this zone. Below the massive sulphide horizon, BS-15-244 intersected a zone of zinc +/- copper-rich stringer-style mineralization (7.77% Zn and 1.19% Cu over 29.0m) at a location where the Main Zone copper body should be. It appears that at this location there is a transition from dominantly copper-rich to zinc-rich material.

Historically, approximately 22,000m of diamond drilling (47 holes with 25 wedges) has targeted the Bigstone deposit from the initial discovery in 1982 to the most recent historic drilling in 2002. The majority of deposit definition drilling was completed between 1982 and 1984 (32 holes with 16 wedges) which formed the basis for an historic mineral resource estimate in 1990. Subsequent programs generally focused on large step-outs along strike and at depth. Due to this focus, the absolute limits of mineralization were not fully defined by historic drilling and as a result the Bigstone deposit resource remains open for expansion (Figure 2).

As part of the Program, Foran routinely measured the specific gravity ("SG") on all drill core, including mineralized intervals. A total of 181 SG measurements were collected from mineralized intervals and these SG measurements were routinely higher than those used for the 1990 historic mineral resource estimate. This preliminary data suggests the historic resource estimate may have understated tonnage in the Main Zone by approximately 10% and in the zinc-rich massive sulphide by approximately 5%.

Geophysics

Foran completed four borehole electromagnetic surveys on select holes (two at the Thunder Zone and two at the Bigstone deposit), as well as 52.35 line km of time-domain electromagnetic ("DEEP-EM") surveying covering regional target areas on Hanson Lake north of McIlvenna Bay. The DEEP-EM survey is similar to that conducted by Foran south of the McIlvenna Bay deposit leading to the identification of Target A and the Thunder Zone discovery. Results of the surveys are currently being interpreted by Foran's geophysical consultant and final reports are pending.

Looking Ahead

Based on the verification of copper and/or zinc VMS mineralization at the Bigstone deposit with robust grades over broad intercepts, the Company plans to prioritize advancement of this deposit over the short term. A detailed review and thorough compilation of historic data at Bigstone is underway which will be integrated with the results from the Program.

Bigstone drilling was conducted with wide diameter (HQ) drill core to allow for sufficient material for metallurgical testwork. The Company plans to proceed with metallurgical testwork as it evaluates next steps.

Table 3. Bigstone Historic Resource(1).

Zone Cutoff Tonnage
(Mt)
Cu
(%)
Zn
(%)
Au
(g/t)
Ag
(g/t)
Main Zone(formerly the Copper Zone) 1% Cu 3.75 2.03 0.14 0.33 9.3
Zn-rich Massive Sulphides (formerly the Zinc Zone) 5% Zn 0.53 0.24 9.62 0.34 15.9
(1) The Bigstone historic resource was estimated in 1990; Foran is not treating the historic estimate as current; a Qualified Person within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101 has not completed sufficient work to classify the historic estimate as current; additional work, including re-surveying, re-logging and drill core QA/QC would be required to verify and upgrade the historic estimate to current.

Table 4. Bigstone Drill Hole Data.

Hole ID UTM Zone 13 NAD 83 East UTM Zone 13 NAD 83 North Elevation
(m)
Azimuth
(° N UTM)
Dip
(°)
Length
(m)
BS-15-239 616226 6049200 326.6 109.60 -62 480.5
BS-15-240 616189 6049160 326.6 108.96 -62 502.5
BS-15-241 616278 6049184 325.4 108.52 -63 367.0
BS-15-242 616235 6049143 326.6 108.50 -63 431.5
BS-15-243 616294 6049226 325.9 110.88 -62 346.0
BS-15-244 616218 6049128 326.6 108.98 -62 417.5
Total 2545.0

About Foran Mining

Foran is a copper-zinc exploration and development company with projects in the Flin Flon Mining Belt. McIlvenna Bay, Foran's flagship deposit, is located in east-central Saskatchewan, 65 kilometres west of Flin Flon, Manitoba and is one of the largest undeveloped VMS deposits in Canada. On November 12, 2014, Foran announced a positive preliminary economic assessment for McIlvenna Bay.

Roger March, VP Project Exploration for Foran and a Qualified Person within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101, has reviewed and approved the technical information in this release.

As at December 31, 2014, the Company had a treasury of $4.05 million in cash and cash equivalents.

Foran trades on the TSX.V under the symbol "FOM".

Neither the TSX-V nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX-V) accepts responsibility for the adequacy of this release. No stock exchange, securities commission or other regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the information contained herein.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking information which is not comprised of historical facts. Forward-looking information involves risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events, results, performance, prospects and opportunities to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Forward looking information in this news release includes, but is not limited to, Foran's objectives, goals or future plans, statements regarding the estimation of mineral resources, exploration results, potential mineralization, exploration and mine development plans, timing of the commencement of operations and estimates of market conditions. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking information include, but are not limited to, failure to convert estimated mineral resources to reserves, capital and operating costs varying significantly from estimates, the preliminary nature of metallurgical test results, delays in obtaining or failures to obtain required governmental, environmental or other project approvals, political risks, uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future, changes in equity markets, inflation, changes in exchange rates, fluctuations in commodity prices, delays in the development of projects and the other risks involved in the mineral exploration and development industry, and those risks set out in Foran's public documents filed on SEDAR. Although Foran believes that the assumptions and factors used in preparing the forward-looking information in this news release are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on such information, which only applies as of the date of this news release, and no assurance can be given that such events will occur in the disclosed time frames or at all. Foran disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, other than as required by law.

A map titled "Figure 1. Property location map with inset of the Bigstone deposit." is available at the following address: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/1008056e_Fig1.pdf

A map titled "Figure 2. Longitudinal Sections of the Main Zone, Zn-rich Stringer Sulphides and Zn-rich Massive Sulphides (looking northwest)." is available at the following address: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/1008056e_Fig2.pdf

A map titled "Figure 3. Cross Section Line 1625N (looking northeast)." is available at the following address: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/1008056e_Fig3.pdf

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