NioBay Metals has reached a deal to acquire an 80% undivided interest in the Foothills Project from Vior, signalling a significant move in the exploration of critical and strategic metals.

The Foothills Project in Québec, Canada, is recognised for its potential in titanium dioxide and apatite deposits.

The project spans around 285km² and consists of five separate claims blocks, and encompasses the majority of the St Urbain anorthosite contact zone.

It is said to have shown promising results for rutile-ilmenite with up to 57% titanium dioxide (TiO2), as well as the presence of apatite.

Under the definitive option deal, NioBay has the opportunity to expedite the acquisition of the 80% interest by undertaking expenditures, cash payments and share-based payments anytime before 31 December 2027.

During this option period, NioBay will also serve as the operator of the project.

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By GlobalData

A joint venture between NioBay and Vior will be contractually established on the date the option is exercised in full.

NioBay Metals president and CEO Jean-Sebastien David said: “With this option agreement, we are delighted to add the Foothills Project to our portfolio of projects. The areas of interest are mainly located on Séminaire de Québec property.

“This project strengthens our ‘green’ portfolio by adding two important elements in the decarbonisation of our economy: titanium and phosphate. The results obtained previously by Vior, and particularly during their 2023 work, caught our attention.

“Samples were taken with high phosphate content, an element newly added to Québec’s list of critical and strategic metals.

“Our objective is clear: to find a homogeneous zone, supported by a resource calculation, and thus prove the mineral potential of this sector. We look forward to returning to the field and continuing Vior’s work.”

NioBay has started a drilling campaign on the Crevier Property, which is owned by Les Minéraux Crevier, in which NioBay holds a 72.5% interest.