Canadian mining company Fortune Minerals has secured an extension to the option to purchase the JFSL Field Services ULC (JFSL) industrial site in Lamont County, Alberta.

Fortune plans to build a hydrometallurgical refinery at the JFSL’s Alberta site to process concentrates from the company’s NICO critical minerals deposit.

The NICO critical minerals deposit, together with the planned mine and concentrator in the Northwest Territories (NWT), is known as the NICO Project.

The project would produce three metals, cobalt, bismuth, and copper, which are identified as critical minerals list and are used in the energy transition and new technologies.

In addition to the Critical Minerals, the NICO deposit also contains more than one million ounces of gold, according to the Mineral Reserve estimates.

Fortune would maintain the refinery site option under the same terms and conditions that are currently in place and purchase the facilities for C$5.5m ($4.1m) before 31 March 2024.

In January 2022, Fortune Minerals signed an option agreement with JFSL to purchase its former steel fabrication plant in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland northeast of Edmonton.

The company initially got a six-month option period to carry out additional due diligence and complete the purchase of the JFSL facility for C$5.5m.

Invest Alberta CEO Rick Christiaanse then said: “More economic growth and diversification in Alberta’s energy and tech sectors shows our competitive edge in action.

“This includes access to highly skilled labour, resources, and transportation links from Alberta’s globally recognised Industrial Heartland and combined with our business-friendly environment thanks to the Alberta tax advantage and a streamlined regulatory framework.”

In July last year, Fortune secured an additional extension to the option to purchase the JFSL’s Alberta industrial site to build a hydrometallurgical refinery.

In late December 2023, Fortune closed a private placement of 22,000,000 units to fund a metallurgical test work program to provide additional information for detailed engineering.

The units were issued for C$0.04 per unit to raise gross proceeds of C$880,000 and one-half of a share purchase warrant exercisable at C$0.07 per full warrant for 24 months after closing.

Fortune is waiting for the opening of the government ice road from Whati to Gameti, which would allow the trucking of ore samples from the NICO site to SGS Canada for the test work.