It is my pleasure to share a recording and transcript of an extensive conversation with Dr. Alan Carter, President & Director of Cabral Gold (TSXV:CBR). The transcript has been edited for clarity, but the full recording is provided for your enjoyment and edification. Put on a pot of coffee, this one is worth your full attention!
You can find the audio recording here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1_8QH34zspUIys4jcGI9cbLXAv2wjvssk
Please note that the transcript starts around the 5-minute mark, as the first 5 minutes of the recording were provided in a teaser released on the same day of the interview here.
Alan Carter: When I invest in a company in the resource space, the first thing I look at is the management team. I mentioned some of the things that we've done previously in terms of our discovery record. We sold the last company that we were involved in, which was Magellan Minerals. We sold that to Ross Beaty's Anfield Nickel, which became Anfield Gold and is now in the process of merging with two other companies -- Trek and Newcastle. We've also had some success at making discoveries as a management team.
After I look at management, I look at the capital structure. Cabral Gold currently has 31 million shares out, which is a relatively tight capital structure. I also look at the cash balance. We have CAD$4.5 million dollars cash on our balance sheet right now at Cabral so we're well-funded.
Then, I look at the work program going forward and the news flow. At Cabral, we have immediate upside with 22,000 meters of drill core that has not yet been included in the resource estimate. We are going to update the resource during the next two or three months so there will be quite a lot of news. I like to see upside in a project -- I like to see the potential for something to become a lot larger.
Peter Bell: And quickly too.
Alan Carter: It's not difficult to see that with Cuiu Cuiu.
Peter Bell: Right. I wondered about all that core, whether it had been assayed or had not. To have all that core that hadn't been included in the resource provides immediate upside.
Alan Carter: There's a very colorful map on page 15 of the presentation that shows this 18-kilometer-long gold-in-soil anomaly. It's a very large gold-in-soil anomaly. All the black dots on that map show the parts of this we've drilled.
The resources are currently confined to the middle part of the anomaly, marked Central, and the area marked Moreira Gomes. There are two deposits that comprise the resource, which are five kilometers apart. There are some holes between the two deposits with very good numbers as shown in the map on the prior page.
Peter Bell: Great.
Alan Carter: Page 14 basically shows a satellite image of the same area. The two deposits that currently comprise the resource are marked in the red boxes A and B on that map. The other boxes, the boxes C, D, E, F, G, and H are all areas of interest within a few kilometers of the known deposits. With very good drill intercepts, which are listed on the side of that page.
The target marked E is Pau de Merenda and we intercepted 1.8 grams over 47 meters there, plus a number of other intersections. At F, we hit 5.1 grams over 39 meters, plus several other intersections. In G, we hit 6.9 grams over 27 meters.
Peter Bell: Wow!
Alan Carter: There are some very good drill intercepts in other areas outside the current resource. Another thing that I consider when investing in companies like ours is, "What are your neighbors doing?" In this case, our claim is immediately NW of Eldorado Gold's Tocantinzinho or TZ project, which has about two million ounces or so and they just got the construction permit earlier this year. I actually hold a 3.5% NSR royalty on that project with a partner of mine.
The Board of Eldorado has not made a construction decision yet for the project, but they have the construction permits for the mine. They are still waiting for a couple of tailings permits. We are next to them and it is interesting to compare our projects to theirs. Our Cuiu Cuiu project produced about 10-times the amount of placer gold, historically, than Eldorado's project. We have a much larger gold-in-soil anomaly than they do. On that basis, I'm very confident that we will ultimately have a much larger resource than they currently have.
Peter Bell: Love the comparison there to TZ. And thanks for pointing out those maps on page 14 and 15. I had looked at page 14 before and it hadn't occurred to me that this map actually shows some of the alluvial workings.
Alan Carter: Yes, it does. There's a lot to that map on page 14, Peter. It's complicated, but it's worthwhile to have a close look at it. All the areas outlined in white, within a thin white line, are areas that were mined for placer gold. They're are essentially streams that had gold in them.
The yellow outline on the map also shows the trend of the known deposits that we have at Cuiu Cuiu, as well. There are also some large yellow ellipses on the map that indicate areas where a lot of alluvial gold was taken out of the streams, but we don't know where it is coming from. We haven't tracked the gold to source there, yet. There are drilling in six areas outside the current resource, but I think several of those are likely to develop into additional deposits. I'm particularly interested in C and D, which I think are two new deposits. I'm hoping that both C and D will be included in the next resource estimate.
You look at areas like Miraboa in the south, which is marked with a big yellow ellipse. There was a lot of gold coming out of the streams there, but we haven't had a chance to go looking for it yet. I'm very optimistic that the deposit at Cuiu Cuiu is going to grow significantly.
Peter Bell: Interesting that those small yellow markings show the existing resource.
Alan Carter: Yes, the yellow lines at A and B certainly do show that. I'm optimistic that the areas at C and D will come in, but the 1.3 million ounces in pit or 1.5 million ounces of geological resources are only in the two red boxes marked A and B.
Peter Bell: I wonder about potential movement from the source of gold and where the placer mining was done. That's always an interesting geological question, but I'm a bit surprised to not see more drill holes around the places where they were working.
Alan Carter: It's a big area, Peter. There's lots of drilling still to be done here, which is why I think it's going to grow significantly. What the map on page 14 does not show is the drainage pattern. The drainage generally goes from the left to right on the map, or west to east. The area under the box marked D is a wide stream and floodplain that was mined extensively for gold and we don't know where that gold in the streams is coming from.
The same goes for the area in the big yellow ellipse called CC North. There's an awful lot of gold to come out of those streams from the north and we don't know where that's coming from. Same story at Miraboa to the south, as I mentioned before. There was a lot of gold mined from the streams at Cuiu Cuiu, historically.
In fact, this was the most prolific of all of the areas in the Tapajos region. This area produced more gold through placer mining than anywhere else. We haven't found a lot of the sources of the gold in the streams -- yet. I hasten to add the word, "yet", because we are planning a significant drill program for the new year.
Peter Bell: When you do that drill program, do you think you'll be able to definitively identify the source?
Alan Carter: I don't think we will ever be in a position to say with a 100% certainty that we know where all the gold comes from on this project. It's just such a massive area. As I said, this soil anomaly is 18 kilometers long. I think most CEO's of companies like ours would say something similar. It helps to approach this with an 80-20 rule in mind: We want to be certain that we've tracked down the source of 80% of the gold in the streams. Right now, I would say we're at about 20-30% certainty. We know where approximately 20-30% of the gold comes from -- that would be my estimate. We've got quite a lot of work to do here and I think this is going to grow significantly.
Historic gold production from streams at Eldorado's TZ project was about 150,000 ounces, but approximately 2 million ounces came out of our streams at Cuiu Cuiu. Our project is roughly 10-times the size of theirs in terms of historic production, but they are right next door to us. Now, they have a deposit of 2 million ounces. If you applied that same math to our area, then there should be an awful lot more gold at Cuiu Cuiu than what we've got currently. The size of the gold-in-soil anomaly is proof of that point. If anybody wants to bet me that we won't find at least a deposit the size of Eldorado's deposit, then I will take that bet in a second. As I said, I think it'll actually end up being quite a lot larger.
Peter Bell: Well, you're almost there!
Alan Carter: Yes, exactly. All that speaks to my confidence that we will grow a significant deposit here. However, these things aren't easy. Mother nature always throws you a few curve balls. There is very little in terms of exposed rock here because everything's been weathering for hundreds of millions of years and has thick soil cover.
Peter Bell: Right.
Alan Carter: I should say a word about the infrastructure here, too. The infrastructure in Northern Brazil is not as good as it is in Southern Brazil, but we have a road to the project and river access. There's a very good airstrip, as well. If you don't want to drive, then you can fly there. It's pretty straightforward to get there. And we have Eldorado next to us.
Peter Bell: Great. If I can ask a question about the host rock -- is this an ancient Archean setting?
Alan Carter: Archean rocks are generally 2.5 billion years old and older, Peter. We're a little bit younger than that. We're well before life on earth really got cracking, anyway. Our rocks are about 1.8 billion years. These are ancient rocks that are similar in age as in Eastern Canada, which is what geologists refer to as the Precambrian Shield. The host rocks are largely granitic in this case, not volcanic. There is a very pronounced regional structural trend that is very important for localizing these hard rock deposits. You can see that on page 7, the regional location map.
In that regional location map, you can see that we are in western Para State of Northern Brazil. As I said, an enormous gold rush took place in this part of the world. On the main map of page 7 you can see a couple of trendlines and most of the known deposits seem to fall within those trends. Not all of them, but most of the deposits are in there. We are right in the middle of that trend with Cuiu Cuiu.
Peter Bell: It is a great neighborhood, isn't it? Coringa to the South and everything -- wow.
Alan Carter: Do you know what the really exciting thing is here, Peter? If you look at major placer gold rushes around the world, whether in California, Russia, Australia, or other places, there is generally at least one mega-deposit that contains tens of millions of ounces. That large deposit has not yet been found in this area and that is very unusual.
There is generally a power-law distribution to the size of deposits in these settings, but one of these really big ones has not been found here yet. Again, that makes this area a bit unusual. As a geologist, we focus on areas that have the best potential for the larger deposits and this is one of them.
The first place most of my geologist peers would go to in search for new deposits are the areas that have historically produced the most amount of placer gold. All that historical production is likely to give you some sort of guide in terms of the amount of gold that's sitting in the rocks in close proximity. Cuiu Cuiu was the largest Garimpo or largest placer area in the whole Tapajos region. I can't over emphasize that point, as it suggests significant upside.
Peter Bell: Interesting to see that Cuiu Cuiu is right at the start of the Crepori River in that regional map. Is it up in the hills a bit? I wonder the topography here.
Alan Carter: It's rolling hills. Brazil doesn't have a lot of mountains -- certainly not in this part of the country. Not like the mountains we know in Western Canada. It's a rolling sort of terrain. The Crepori River is definitely an advantage for us. Before we had a road on the project, we actually brought a lot of our larger equipment in up the river. The other thing about the Crepori River is that there's a big waterfall quite close to us, which could be a site for a run-of-river hydroelectric power plant.
I think we're reasonably well-situated. We don't currently have grid power to the site, but there has been a run-of-river site designated for potential hydroelectricity. It has not been approved, but it is within 10 kilometers by road of where we are. It's probably 6 kilometers in a direct line from us at Cuiu Cuiu. And if Eldorado makes the decision to develop their project, then they will be building quite a lot of infrastructure in here, too. They've already built a very nice road.
Peter Bell: I think I see it on the map there.
Alan Carter: Both our road and Eldorado's road connect with the BR-163, which you can probably see on page 7. That is a federal highway. It runs north-south and was recently paved in the last three or four years. Prior to that, it was a good road, but it was a graded, dirt highway. Now, it is a paved highway put in by the federal government. They're already talking about expanding that road and making it a four-lane blacktop highway.
Peter Bell: Wow.
Alan Carter: You're probably thinking, "I can't see any big cities on this map -- why build a four lane highway in this part of Brazil?" Well, the area just to the south of us produces an awful lot of soybean. That is the state of Mato Grosso and it is known as a world-class soybean growing area. During harvest time, the soybean trucks head south to a big city called Curitiba and then they head east to a port near Sao Paulo. They ship it all in trucks.
And to give you a sense of that, Peter -- that involves about 5,000 articulated trucks per day driving in each direction, during harvest time. It’s big business.
There are an awful lot of soybean trucks moving down the road to the south of us. That trucking distance is about two and a half thousand kilometers, give or take a couple of hundred kilometers. Now that the road by us has been paved, the trucks are starting to head north to the town of Itaituba, which is where we have our office. The trucking distance is more like 800 kilometers to Itaituba. And Itaituba is on the Rio Tapajos, which is a big navigable river that takes big barges. The various soybean companies are starting to construct soybean terminals to take the trucks there because the costs of getting their product to market are significantly decreased. Trucking costs are much more expensive relative to shipping costs. All that is having a major impact on this whole region.
Peter Bell: A positive impact!
Alan Carter: Indeed. There are all sorts of soybean terminals popping up on the river in Itaituba. It's changing everything.
Peter Bell: Those oil seeds can be a profitable crop. That could drive a lot of development and foreign direct investment in the area.
Alan Carter: Itaituba is a good place to own real estate right now.
Peter Bell: How is Para politically? Is it pro-business? Is it a safe place to be?
Alan Carter: Para is not a wealthy state like Minas Gerais or Sao Paulo or some other areas, but Para has been blessed with some major significant natural resources. The Carajas iron ore district, which is on the eastern side of the state, is a major global player in the iron ore industry. There are some big copper mines operated by Vale there, too. There are also big bauxite mines in Para and I think it has great potential for gold deposits.
It's a mining state -- it's the second largest mining state, in terms of revenue from mining, in all of Brazil. You may be aware that Votorantim, which is Brazil's second largest mining company, listed its zinc mining assets in Toronto recently under a company called Nexa Resources. They raised US$500 million as part of that transaction and that is one of the largest IPOs ever in Canadian history. That's a Brazilian company that's chose to list on the TSX main board.
I think we'll be hearing more from Brazil. It's certainly got its problems, as most developing countries do, but the fact that you can work here 12 months of the year helps and it has such massive potential for a whole range of different natural resources. It also has a large middle class, which is 100 million people strong. The total population is 200 million plus.
It also has a well-educated workforce and it has a lot of depth in terms of mining expertise. I don't know when you were last in Vancouver, but I hear Portuguese spoken on the street here every day.
Peter Bell: Yes -- a lot of young people come up to learn English in Vancouver.
Alan Carter: Yes, they do.
Peter Bell: Something about these resource-rich nations trying to work together. Have there been any mines built around this area?
Alan Carter: There are the big iron ore, copper, and bauxite mines in Para state that I mentioned. There is also the large Volta Grande gold deposit of Belo Sun on the eastern side of the state, which hasn't been built yet.
There are also two underground gold mines in fairly close proximity to us owned by a UK company called Serabi Mining, which are active and in production. There are several large companies, including Eldorado, who are active in the belt but I think we're just getting started here. I think this is one of those areas that you'll hear a lot more about. In terms of potential for major discoveries, this ticks all the boxes in my opinion.
I really think that there will be additional discoveries made here in the next few years. Frankly, we want to be at the forefront of that effort.
Peter Bell: Interesting to hear that there are underground mines in production in the TZ Trend. That's somewhat surprising to me based on the history of placer mining, but very encouraging.
Alan Carter: I think there's potential for both lower- and higher-grade deposits in this area. I think Cuiu Cuiu has both types of deposits. Thus far, we have focused on the larger, lower-grade areas that could be mined via large-scale open-pit methods but the intriguing thing about Cuiu Cuiu is that there are lots of narrower high-grade veins that we haven't tested yet with drilling. Those veins would probably be underground mines. I can certainly envisage a scenario where we've got several large open pits and then one or two smaller underground areas producing high-grade material to supplement mill feed. We have a lot of work to do to get there, but it's a pretty exciting area to work in.
Peter Bell: Indeed! And these intercepts -- the lengths that we're talking about here are impressive. Tens of meters of multiple grams per tonne gold, that's exciting.
Alan Carter: There are a few highlights on page 12 of drill intercepts from the Central deposit, part of which is included in the existing resource. We've drilled a lot more holes around there and I think the best drill hole we've had so far was 220 meters at two grams.
You can also see on page 12 that there was a hole with almost 66 meters at 3.5 grams. There's another with 179 meters at one gram. Long intercepts with pretty good grades. It's not high-grade, but it's very good grade. The average grade at Paracatu mine, which is one of the largest gold mines in Brazil and is owned by Kinross, is a little less than 0.4 grams a tonne and that mine makes an awful lot of money for Kinross.
Peter Bell: Really?
Alan Carter: Yes. If you've got a deposit which is big enough, then even something which is 0.4 or 0.3 grams per tonne gold can make an awful lot of money. We're not down at that grade -- we're significantly above that. Our average grade here between Central and Moreira Gomez is about 1.25 grams, as on page 11.
Peter Bell: Maybe a question about timelines for you, Alan. The resource estimate was done in 2011 based on an initial 26,000 meters of drilling. Then, there's the additional 22,000 meters of drilling done. Who did that? Why was it not included in the resource?
Alan Carter: Magellan Minerals did that work, which was a public company that I co-founded and worked on. We were quite fortunate with Magellan in that we made two discoveries. We discovered Cuiu Cuiu and a high-grade project called Coringa. When the downturn came upon us in 2012, we couldn't work on both projects. We did not have the funding to work on both, so we decided to focus on Coringa. Whilst it was a smaller project, it was higher-grade, and we advanced it into feasibility. That project was subsequently bought by Anfield Nickel when they acquired Magellan Minerals.
We managed to cut Cuiu Cuiu out of the company before that and there was no work done on it in the last five years or so. All our efforts went towards the higher-grade Coringa project, which was less than a million ounces but was higher-grade. That's the reason why this project has not seen much work in the last few years. It was extremely tough to raise capital during the downturn and we had limited resources -- we had to focus on one of the two projects.
Peter Bell: Wonderful that you were able to keep control of Cuiu Cuiu and punt it along to this point in time where it can be brought into a public vehicle that is relatively clean. And it is nice to have two assets next to each other, too. The name of the other one escapes me, sorry.
Alan Carter: Bom Jardim, which we haven't talked about. Yes, it is just to the northwest of Cuiu Cuiu along the same trend. Bom Jardim is Portuguese for Good Garden and we think there is really good potential in that area. Again, that's another area that produced a lot of placer gold historically. It was another significant historical producer of gold from the streams.
We've been in to Bom Jardim and taken some soil samples and identified a large gold-in-soil anomaly there, too. It is not as big as Cuiu Cuiu, but it's still seven kilometers long. We did a little bit of drilling -- reconnaissance drilling. I think we drilled five or six holes back around 2012 and we cut large intersections of highly altered rock, but no gold so we haven't found the source of gold at Bom Jardim yet.
What we have found with the previous drilling at Bom Jardim are identical looking rocks to what we've got at Cuiu Cuiu. We know there's a big hydrothermal system that's altered a lot of rock at Bom Jardim, but we need to do a lot more drilling to determine where the gold's coming from.
Peter Bell: Is it about 50 kilometers between the two projects?
Alan Carter: It's not quite 50 kilometers -- it's a bit less than that. They're not too far away. We have been directly involved in four gold discoveries in Brazil -- things that have 43-101 compliant ounces on them -- and we are quite excited about Bom Jardim.
Peter Bell: I was pleased to hear that Bom Jardim was another big Garimpo, too. It makes a lot of sense why the two assets are in the company. A question for you about these soils. Do you have a sense for the mechanism by which the gold appears in soils? Are we talking about any glaciation here?
Alan Carter: No glaciation in this part of the world, Peter -- not for a long time, if ever. This is tropical terrain. Over the course of tens of millions of years, the rocks start to break down and weather. You can see that on some of the road as you leave Vancouver -- you can see some of the rocks that are starting to weather. They take on a different color and start to go to reds and browns. That is a reflection of the minerals inside of those rocks, which are at the very early stages of breaking down.
If you went back to the road cuts on the way to Whistler in a few million years or so, then you'd find that there would be soils. You can see on some of these mountain tops today. The soils are eroded rock material, with a mixture of vegetation as well. The silica, the potassium, and some of these other minerals in the rock get into the soils. If there is gold in the underlying rock, then you're going to end up with gold in the soil, as well.
Peter Bell: Right.
Alan Carter: It's a chemical process where the rocks get broken down over millions of years and form these soils. Underneath the soil there is clay, which is the weathered rock. What we're looking for is the base of those soils, where we start to get into clay. That's where we're sampling and we're finding tiny particles of gold that have been liberated from the rock over the course of millions of years of chemical weathering. It's a pretty good guide.
Peter Bell: And you have done soil sampling's far and wide at Cuiu Cuiu. When you're out in the woods and the jungle there, do you get down to the clay?
Alan Carter: There are trade-offs when you're doing soil sampling. We have hundreds of kilometers of soil sampling lines. You can't spend hours taking one sample, so there is a trade-off between depth and speed. We've found that the B-horizon is most effective, which is typical. You don't sample right at the surface -- you need to get down to a meter or less, typically. That's probably the optimal sampling horizon, but there is a trade-off between depth and speed.
To be honest, it would be better for us to get down 10 or 20 meters but it would take much longer to get samples. We've found that the B-horizon is a good compromise and we've got some very interesting anomalies. This gold-in-soil anomaly at Cuiu Cuiu is the biggest one I've seen in my career.
Peter Bell: Wow! Would it be possible to do "base of till" sampling to get down a bit lower?
Alan Carter: Well, we don't have any till here because till is a glacial deposit that has been transported. It's like a mixture of weathered rock and soil. We don't have that because we don't have glaciation.
What we do have is saprolite, which is weathered rock. It turns to clay and then into more of a soil profile at surface. The soils generally aren't very thick here -- they're probably about two meters thick, if that.
We have done some deeper sampling with handheld augers that get down into that saprolite. The deeper you go, the closer you get to the fresh rock. That fresh rock can occur as deep as 40 or 50 meters at Cuiu Cuiu. The deeper you go, the better the sample that you're going to get because you're getting closer to the actual rock itself.
As I said, there is tradeoff between speed and expense. We have done some saprolite sampling, which is similar to base of till sampling in glaciated terrane. That is useful, but it has generally been too expensive and too slow. We find that the soils are pretty good -- they're not as good as the saprolite samples, but they are certainly good enough for us to hone-in on the deposits at Cuiu Cuiu.
There is still more soil sampling that we need to do. One of the maps has the soil grid on it and you can see that there are some large areas that we have not sampled yet. Particularly where there was gold mined from the streams. That will be one of the key things for us going forward.
Peter Bell: Page 15 shows a colour contoured map of the soil samples. The gold-in-soil anomaly really stands out on that map in red. The map also shows the entire area that you have sampled. Was that done before the 2011 resource estimate?
Alan Carter: Yes, we did most of the soil sampling before of the drilling. That map on page 15 is rather colourful but it shows just how big the gold-in-soil anomaly is. However, it doesn't really give you any sense of the tens of thousands of man-hours that went into collecting the thousands of samples that comprise that map. The map doesn't show all the sample points. There are well in excess of 10,000 soil sampling points behind that contour map.
Peter Bell: Did you hire locals to do that work?
Alan Carter: Yes, the local guys are fantastic. Some of these guys have washed gold from the streams in the past and they are natural born prospectors. They are very effective at finding new areas. I'm not ashamed to say that sometimes we end up following these guys. They're always finding new veins sticking out of the ground or new occurrences that could be economic deposits.
Peter Bell: I believe you said before that there is not much exposed rock here, but the page 16 says that there are high-grade veins and showings.
Alan Carter: Well, there are. I think we've mapped about 25 high-grade veins right now. Some of these veins never come to the surface. Of the 25 that we've mapped so far, we've probably drilled a total of 10 holes into 5 or 6 of those showings. We have no idea how extensive these vein showings might be. That will be one of our priorities next year -- testing as many of those targets as we can.
Peter Bell: And it seems like there's a bit of a bend to the structure indicated on the map in page 16, right around where these faults come together with Moreira Gomes and Ivo. Looks juicy!
Alan Carter: Could be. There are certainly two structural orientations. Of the two deposits that comprise the current resource, one has a very definite northwest-southeast trend to it and the other one has an east-west trend.
We've got two different structural directions that are mineralized, which is interesting. I'm not really sure why that is yet. We've got more work to do, but there's an awful lot of potential here.
Peter Bell: A lot of different things can happen to such old rock, right? Do you have a sense for the sequence of events here -- multiple mineralizing events or a single hydrothermal episode?
Alan Carter: We think it's probably one event. There are these two styles of deposits, but they were probably forming at the same time.
What you've got here is a fault zone, not unlike the San Andreas fault system in California. If you were to drill a hole through that, then you'd go through a whole series of faults and that's what we think was happening here. There's a series of anastomosing fault zones cutting through the granite so the rocks were sliding past each other. There would have been multiple episodes of movement along these fault systems and these movement events would have opened up void space as they broke up the rocks. Then, hot water was able to circulate through the void space and deposit the gold, which would have occurred over hundreds of thousands or millions of years. It is a fairly lengthy process.
The major trend or lineament I showed you on the regional map with the northwest trending zone is a major fault system. It's not active now, but it would have been active 1.5-1.6 billion years ago.
Peter Bell: Great to have that basic understanding of the genetic model here to help frame your planned work program. And updating the mineral resource is a great place to start.
Alan Carter: Certainly. I think a lot of my peers are reasonably envious -- not only are we starting with a resource that's well over a million ounces, but we've got 22,000 meters of drilling and lots of results that have not yet been incorporated into the resource yet. It's an enviable situation.
I always find some comfort investing in company that has an existing resource. I gain even more comfort if I can see that they've got very good drilling results in other areas in close proximity to the existing resource, which we do at Cuiu Cuiu based on the six areas that are not currently in the resource.
If we were to drill that 22,000 meters now, it would be a significant expenditure. We do not currently have enough money in the treasury to drill another 22,000 meters. Yet, we do have all the results from that. The key priority over the next couple of months is really to update that resource.
Peter Bell: And to ask a bit more about that -- do you have a sense for how much of that 22,000 meters is infill drilling for versus step-out holes? I guess you would have a good handle on that because you were the ones responsible for planning those drill programs in the first place!
Alan Carter: My estimate is that about 60% of the drilling is step-out drilling and 40% is infill drilling. In other words, two-thirds of the drilling was aimed at discovering other deposits and extensions to the existing deposits. One-third is getting tighter-spacing within the existing deposits.
Peter Bell: And to confirm -- was it you who set those drill programs for that 22,000 meters?
Alan Carter: Not me, personally, but it was our technical team. That drill program was done under our direction and I certainly kept a pretty close eye on it. When you're exploration-drilling, Peter, not every hole that you drill is obviously going to come back with ore grade. There are certainly some areas where the results have been a little bit disappointing, but a very high percentage of holes that we've drilled here have.
Overall, we are very encouraged by what we've seen so far. As I showed you in that rather complicated map on page 14, we've got some very good drilling intercepts outside the current resources and I think that speaks volumes for the potential here.
Peter Bell: Looking at the page 24, I see a description of the planned work programs. Phase one includes regional geochemistry, mapping, and prospecting -- all good. I guess you could use some of the locals as well for mapping.
Alan Carter: Yes, that's right. The local people here are tremendously knowledgeable about the local controls on the gold mineralization and we do tap into that knowledge. We employ several of these guys and they're very hard working. They're very smart. We try to bring all the resources that are available to us to bear on the problem. Some of these folks have lived in the village close to us for 20-30 years and have spent their whole lives prospecting for gold. We tap into that expertise.
Peter Bell: I suspect that you have a good reputation after working down there for many years now.
Alan Carter: Brazil is a developing country. It is developing quite rapidly, but it's still a developing country. Like most developing countries, it takes time to work out how things work and who's who -- how to do business there.
I'll give you an example. You and I could set up a company here in Vancouver and we'd have the company established in an hour. We'd probably have a bank account in the afternoon of the same day. In Brazil, it takes quite a lot longer. It's not something you can do in a couple of hours. It's a 60-day process just to set up a company. If you don't know all these things before you go in, then you can spend a lot of time and money going down the paths that are not optimal.
I'd be the first one to admit that we made some mistakes when we first started exploring and working in Brazil. Absolutely, we did -- just like most people I know but once you've been in a place for a number of years and you know how to get things done, I think you're at a strategic advantage.
Our philosophy is basically to stick to what we know well. There are areas of opportunity all over the world, but we know Brazil very well. We think the country has enormous potential. It has some very large gold mines there right now and we think we have a very good project. We're well-funded and we have a tight capital structure. There's lots of upside and we think the project itself could be a multi-million ounce project. We're very excited.
Peter Bell: Wonderful to be talking to you about it all here, Alan. Is this the first public interviews that you've given about the company?
Alan Carter: It is, yes. We've only been a public company since Thursday of last week.
Peter Bell: I will mention that I invested in the recent financing myself and I've been keen to help get the story out there. It's stunning. I was a bit late to the party with Altamira, but very impressed by a lot of the ideas I saw at play there. I remember seeing "Cuiu Cuiu" mentioned on the list of discoveries beside your name, Alan, in the Altamira deck and I always wondered what the story was with Cuiu Cuiu. Amazing to be hearing about it now.
This financing that you've just completed will fund some pretty significanct work, even in Phase 1. I like to hear mention of trenching. I gather results from that can be included in a resource estimate like a drill hole, if they are done properly. Looking at that picture of the workings from the placer miners -- I can imagine a lot of potential for trenching! What's the plan with the trenching?
Alan Carter: Thanks, Peter. We have a tremendous interest in trenching. It's much lower-cost than drilling holes and it is arguably almost as effective. You don't get the three-dimensional view, but you can get an excellent two-dimensional view of what you might have sitting under the soil that you wouldn't otherwise see.
We haven't actually defined the amount of trenching that we're going to do here. We're still looking at the multiple targets that we've got. When I last checked, I think we were up to well over 30 different targets here. After we've processed all the data, I would guess that there will probably be in excess of 50 targets. We will prioritize those targets and the first thing we will do is to trench the key ones, maybe 10-20 top targets.
When we were working here about six years ago as Magellan, we didn't have a road to the site so we couldn't get mechanical excavators in. It was a very time-consuming, labor-intensive and dangerous endeavor. We did very little trenching at that time. Now, however, there is a road in to the property that we can use to get mechanical excavators to site. That means we can get an awful lot of work done very quickly and cheaply through trenching.
That is something that we will be doing and will form the core of our program for the first 3-4 months next year ahead of drilling.
Peter Bell: Wow!
Alan Carter: Drilling is very expensive, so we need to be as certain as we can be that we're drilling the very best targets. Trenching will help us in that regard.
Peter Bell: Very interesting to hear that excavators are now a reality for you at site. That could be a game-changer for you guys there. Really open up the ability to do more trenching. I always thought you could do a lot of trenching in the areas exposed by the placer miners, but it occurs to me that you would be limited to working where the placer miners worked. With excavators, you are more able to trench where you want. Thanks for helping putting it in perspective there.
Alan Carter: Not a problem, Peter. Placer miners need water, so they confine themselves to the streams. The two deposits we've found so far are not cut by streams. They are sitting in the hills directly next to the streams, but are not cut by streams. The gold in streams gives you a pretty good guide to get close, but you often find that the hard rock deposit is sitting outside the drainage somewhere. I think trenching will definitely help us going forward. As I said, I'm very optimistic.
Peter Bell: And coming back to this slide 14 one more time. It is interesting to hear you say that the Central and Moreira Gomes deposits indicated by A and B are not cut by the streams. Any brief version of the discovery story of what led you guys there?
Alan Carter: If you look at A, then you can see that the southern end of the Central deposit is just clipped by a stream. In the case of Moreira Gomes at B, the main streams aren't really coming off there and the bulk of the deposit at Central is not sitting underneath a stream.
If you ask me what is my highest-priority area on page 14, beyond the 22,000 meters that we're going to incorporate into this next resource update, I personally think the area between E and G is probably one big deposit. That would also incorporate areas marked as A and D.
The results at G are just to the south of what we call the Central deposit and you can see that we've got 27 meters of 6.9 grams there. Up in E, there are a number of drill holes that look quite interesting. The best one I think we've had so far is 47 meters at 1.8 grams per tonne gold. I think that is one large deposit and if I'm right, then there could be several million ounces just in the area between E and G on slide 14.
Peter Bell: Do you have a sense of topography there? Is over a rolling hills, or along a ridge line?
Alan Carter: Yes, you have to go up a slight hill, down the other side, and then up again, but the topography is not controlling the gold here. The topography of these things is a very recent thing. It's reflecting erosion over the last few million years, whereas these gold deposits were formed at a considerable depth, probably several kilometers below the surface originally. We haven't found topography to be particularly useful in terms of guiding our exploration program. It's much more about the soil geochemistry and the structural work. We've done some geophysics here that has been quite useful.
Peter Bell: Okay. And is that E-G area a place where you could potentially get the excavators in to help with trenching?
Alan Carter: Absolutely. That's going to be one of the first areas we will look at.
Peter Bell: Great. With the geophysics, geochemistry, and drilling, you have quite a lot of information right out of the gate. It is a pretty exciting position to be in.
Alan Carter: And the geophysics is quite interesting, Peter. The host rock is a granite, which is naturally magnetic because it has tiny little grains of magnetite. Now, imagine a fault zone with hot water flushing through it over millions of years. Eventually, that hot water starts to alter the rock and break down the magnetite as you're depositing gold.
We need to do more work on this, but there's a strong indication that areas where the magnetic response is low are the same areas where we get gold. We think that occurs because the magnetite has been altered through all that hot water.
Peter Bell: Many times it seems that geophysics is impeded by the jungle cover in these tropical settings, so it is good to hear a simple story there.
Alan Carter: Still, geochemistry is our primary tool. The key with this project, like a lot of projects, is to integrate the various datasets. You need to decide what your controls are -- does the mineralization have a geophysical response? Does it have a geochemical response? What does it look like from satellite images? What's your proximity to the historic workings? What's the geology? Is there a specific rock type here? Are there specific structures you should be targeting? What orientation are those structures? There's a whole range of things that you look at and we try to use all those criteria for our targeting process.
Peter Bell: Wonderful. Thank you very much for indulging me in this conversation on the project, Alan.
Alan Carter: You're welcome, Peter. Thanks for your interest.
Please note that Peter "@Newton" Bell was not compensated to prepare and distribute these documents. Peter Bell owns shares of Cabral Gold and may buy or sell at any time without notice.
These documents contain statements that are forward looking statements and are subject to various risks and uncertainties concerning the specific factors disclosed under the heading “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in the Company’s periodic filings with Canadian securities regulators. Such information contained herein represents management’s best judgment as of the date hereof based on information currently available. The Company does not assume the obligation to update any forward-looking statement.