Location and Infrastructure
In addition to the McIlvenna Bay, Bigstone, Balsam and Hanson Lake properties, Foran holds an interest in several other properties. These include the Sam and Comeback Bay properties, located between the Hanson Lake Camp and Flin Flon in east-central Saskatchewan, and the Reed Lake property, located in the Snow Lake-Lalor area of west-central Manitoba.
Location and Infrastructure
Foran’s 4,066 hectare Balsam Property is located in east-central Saskatchewan, approximately 65 km west of Flin Flon, Manitoba. The property is contiguous with Foran’s McIlvenna Bay and Hanson Lake Properties.
Foran’s Thunder Zone discovery lies on the Balsam property, approximately 7 kilometres southeast of the McIlvenna Bay deposit. Access to the Thunder Zone is via winter road from the McIlvenna Bay deposit and the Foran exploration camp at Hanson Lake.
The mining town of Flin Flon (pop. 5,600), is the largest commercial/residential centre in the area and a railhead on the Hudson Bay railway. The Flin Flon airport has regular commercial air service to Winnipeg.
Foran owns a 100% interest in the Balsam Property. Some of the claims that make up the property are subject to a 2% NSR.
History and Past Work
The Balsam area has been the subject of exploration by a number of different companies since the mid-1980’s. The entire Balsam property is covered by a veneer of Phanerozoic cover. As a result the exploration conducted to date has been limited to geophysics, diamond drilling and drill core lithogeochemistry. This work has successfully identified several horizons of VMS-style alteration and copper and/or zinc mineralization over a 3 km strike length within Balsam stratigraphy. The following table summarizes the diamond drilling history at Balsam from initial drilling of an airborne EM conductor by Granges in 1984, through Balsam Zone discovery in 1986, to completion of the 2015 Foran Drill Program:
Year Company Number of Holes Meters Drilled 1984 Granges 1 72.24 1985 Granges 2 217.66 1986 Granges 23 3,493.36 1990 Cameco 3 672.00 1991 Cameco 7 2,488.20 1996 Aur Resources 3 2,097.00 1997 Aur Resources 7 2,549.08 2002 Aur Resources 1 224.60 2013 Foran 9 3,211.00 2015 Foran 5 1,914.20 Total: 61 16,939.34
From 1981-87, a Granges-Troymin joint venture completed airborne INPUT surveys, ground HLEM, magnetometer surveys and 26 diamond drill holes which resulted in the discovery of the Balsam Zone in 1986 which returned grades up to 3.19% Cu, 3.3% Zn, 3.6 g/t Au and 52.48 g/t Ag. In 1989 Cameco optioned the property. During 1990-91, Cameco completed further magnetic and EM surveys and ten diamond drill holes. It was during these programs that ground EM conductors northwest of the Balsam zone were tested, resulting in the first sub-economic mineralized intersections peripheral to the Thunder Zone. In 1995, Aur Resources purchased Granges interest in the property and from 1996 to 2002 completed several exploration programs on the property which identified several additional mineralized horizons. A mineral resource was estimated for the Balsam Zone in the late 1990's. However, this resource estimate is historic in nature and Foran has not done sufficient work to classify it as a current resource estimate; further drilling will be required to upgrade the historic resource.
In 2003, Foran purchased Aur Resources interest in the property and in 2011 purchased the Troymin interest in the joint venture to consolidate 100% ownership of the project. Exploration began again on the property in 2013 with the completion of a ground EM survey covering the 7 kilometre trend from McIlvenna Bay to Balsam and diamond drilling targeting known zones and new EM conductors. This program resulted in the expansion of the Balsam and B2 zones and a significant intersection of copper rich massive sulphides at the Thunder Zone. In 2015, follow up diamond drilling and downhole TDEM surveys confirmed and expanded the Thunder Zone discovery with intersections of massive sulphide in 4 of the 5 holes drilled. The Thunder zone remains open to the northwest for further expansion with additional drilling.
The Balsam Deposit area is located seven kilometres southeast of Foran’s McIlvenna Bay Deposit and is hosted in the same Proterozoic volcanic rocks of the Hanson Lake Block (See McIlvenna Bay for details on regional geology).
The Balsam area is covered by a 10-20m thick veneer of Paleozoic dolomite and sandstone which unconformably overlies a sequence of variably altered felsic volcanic rocks interbedded with lesser mafic volcanics, iron formations and volcaniclastic sediments. These units are intruded by several units of both mafic and felsic affinities and subjected to lower amphibolite facies regional metamorphism.
Sulphide mineralization at Balsam appears to be stratabound and restricted to several felsic volcanic and/or volcaniclastic horizons which are interbedded with mafic units. The felsic rocks tend to be variably sericite and/or chlorite altered with mineralization occurring as massive to semi-massive and net-textured pyrrhotite-pyrite-chalcopyrite-sphalerite +/- arsenopyrite in varying combinations and concentrations. To date, four distinct mineralized horizons have been identified which at present intermittently host sulphide mineralization. The zones generally strike 145o – 155o and dip at 40o - 50o to the southwest with a shallow northwest plunge. The most significant of these horizons is the Thunder Zone which is described in more detail below.
Drilling and ground-based deep penetrating electromagnetic geophysics ("DEEP EM") resulted in the 2013 discovery of high grade copper mineralization at the Thunder Zone, with Foran's drill hole BA-13-77 intersecting 3.7 metres of massive sulphide grading 4.1% copper and 0.43g/t gold.
Drilling in winter 2015 stepped out from BA-13-77 and cut thick intercepts of copper- and zinc-rich VMS mineralization in four of the five holes drilled, confirming a significant new blind discovery close to the McIlvenna Bay deposit. Drill highlights from 2015 include:
- 5.0% Cu, 2.1% Zn, 0.84g/t Au and 41g/t Ag over 2.6m in an ~12m thick sulphide-rich interval in BA-15-80
- 2.0% Cu, 3.5% Zn, 0.37g/t Au and 12g/t Ag over 3.5m, followed downhole by 0.7% Cu, 7.2% Zn, 0.29g/t Au and 43 g/t Ag over 3.7m within an ~15m thick sulphide-rich interval in BA-15-83
Drilling to date indicates the Thunder Zone massive sulphides strike northwest, dip approximately 35-45o to the southwest and plunge gently (approximately 7o) to the northwest. Drill indicated thicknesses of mineralization at the Thunder Zone range from 2 to 15m. True thickness is interpreted to be approximately 85% of drill indicated. Mineralized intercepts start at a depth of 265m below surface.
Mineralization at the Thunder Zone is comprised of massive to semi-massive and stringer to disseminated sulphide mineralization with various combinations of pyrite-pyrrhotite-spalerite-chalcopyrite-arsenopyrite-galena-magnetite. Metamorphic equivalents of hydrothermal alteration within massive sulphide bearing intervals is comprised of intense chlorite and andalusite +/- staurolite. Alteration intensity and mineral assemblages of the host volcanic strata are similar to those at McIlvenna Bay.
The Thunder Zone is open along strike, where drilling to date has only begun to test the extent of this deposit.
Thunder Zone Winter 2015 Drill Hole Summary
Type5 BA-15-79 NSV1 - BA-15-80
MS, SMS, DSS BA-15-81
MS, SMS, DSS
1NSV = no significant values; 2downhole distance (true thickness approx. 85% of downhold distance); 3CuEq = copper equivalent, ZnEq = zinc equivalent, CuEq and ZnEq calculations based on Cu = $2.63/lb., Zn = $0.90/lb., Pb = $0.78/lb., Au = $1164/oz., Ag = $16.00/oz.; 4Cu = copper, Zn = Zinc, Pb = lead, Au = gold, Ag = silver; 5MS = massive sulphide, SMS = semi-massive sulphide, DSS = disseminated and stringer sulphides.