"We are currently permitting all our three properties, and this can be a lengthy process in Peru. "
Why did Forte Minerals Corp decide to go public in January 2022?
After 10 years of being privately funded, we decided to go public in January 2022, engaging with Haywood Securities on the brokerage side. We observed some renewed interest in the market and saw strong fundamentals for copper, which constitutes 80% of our focus. We felt like the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) was the right platform for reasons related to efficiencies and the cost base, and there are numerous junior companies that trade on the CSE. Since going public, we have been making great efforts to showcase our three properties and gain the attention of the investment community. In April, the company started trading in the US OTCQB:FOMNF and became DTC eligible. This additional listing was important to gain access to a broader investor market, as well as increase trading volume and liquidity for Forte Minerals common shares in the US.
What progress has been made in the permitting process of your three properties?
We are currently permitting all our three properties, and this can be a lengthy process in Peru. For Pucarini, the CIRA Report, which is the first step in the permitting process, has been submitted and approval is expected shortly. The field studies and technical documents have been completed and the Company is in the process of finalizing the DIA Report which will be submitted to MINEM for approval of the drill permits. Forte is working with an experienced ESG consulting firm based in Perú to guide the permitting process, with a goal of maintaining a positive working relationship with the communities near its projects.
The company started the permitting process for Esperanza in the fall of 2021, and expects to acquire drill permits by Q1 of 2023.
Meanwhile, we expect our third property, Don Gregorio, to take more time given its sensitivity and the fact that we started the permitting process quite recently.
Can you tell us about the current state of Pucarini?
Pucarini is an early-stage, high-sulfidation epithermal gold project located in Lampa Province, Department of Puno. The 1,000 ha property is 100% owned by Forte Copper, with a 1% Net Smelter Return royalty held by Globetrotters Resource Group.
The property was mapped and sampled 2011-2015, with every sample showing anomalous gold, and subsequently dropped without having been tested by drilling. We started follow up work in February 2021, and used the property for the NI 43-101 technical report to go public. In addition to the Pucarini property, there is another 16,100 ha of concessions that comprise nine different claim blocks that surround Pucarini. These were selected based on the outstanding argillic and sericitic alteration signatures that were identified through Globetrotters remote sensing program.
The geophysical responses from Mag and IP coincide with the anomalous gold trends that we see on surface and from alteration mapping, so we are very excited that that there are three layers of coincident support for the gold system there.
What has historic drilling shown at Don Gregorio and what potential do you see for this project?
Don Gregorio, located in Cajamarca, is the backstop for the company. The property was drilled in the mid 70’s and 1990s by a joint venture between Buenaventura and Newmont, and a porphyry copper-gold discovery was made. They realized it was predominantly a copper system and relinquished the property. We are approaching the target resolution and mineral inventory development stages and the focus will be on permitting and deploying a sizable drill project to expand mineralization and develop a large tonnage porphyry copper-gold deposit.
How does Forte Minerals approach its relationship with surrounding communities?
Before even stepping foot on the ground, we get in touch with nearby communities. A large part of our budget is dedicated to social issues. We have an in-house social team and a separate consulting team who have experience in different regions.
Esperanza and Pucarini are located in Southern Peru and the communities have been very inviting and accommodating with our social and exploration teams thus far. However, the political climate and the pandemic have caused a change in perception towards mining and exploration, which meant that we essentially had to start from scratch and rebuild the communication with the communities. We are also working towards building a successful relationship with the communities surrounding Don Gregorio in Cajamarca.
What makes Forte Minerals stand out from its peers in Peru?
What really sets us apart is our strategic partnership with GlobeTrotters Resource Group, who has a massive portfolio of predominantly copper projects, and provides us with a revolving pipeline of early-stage projects that we can access for a very reasonable equity decision. It also gives us access to over 100 targets that were identified from the remote sensing generative work but have yet to see any on surface follow-up work. In addition, our portfolio is generated from a phenomenal group of geoscientists that make up the mold for Forte Minerals and GlobeTrotters Resource Group.