Enjoy the transcript from my extended conversation with Mr. Tony Baressi, VP Exploration for Triumph Gold Corp. Thanks Tony for educating me about so many important aspects of the company's exploration projects in the Yukon. Listen to the full hour conversation for all kinds of insight about their aggressive plans to drill the deepest hole in the best porphyry in the Yukon in 2019, and why we should care.
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Peter Bell: Hello, this is Peter Bell and I'm here with Mr. Tony Baressi from Triumph Gold. Hello Tony!
Tony Baressi: Hello, Peter. Thanks for coming to see me.
Peter Bell: I saw you speak earlier this week at Roundup and was very impressed. I think I was actually able to follow most of your talk and learned a couple things. Thank you for making it simple.
Tony Baressi: Oh, it was my pleasure. It was really great to have been invited by AME BC to speak at Roundup. When I first started my doctorate, I remember talking to the the BC geologists that were sponsoring my thesis and saying, "Maybe one day I'll get to present this research at Roundup!" They looked at each other, smiled, and said "Well, probably not." But now I'm finally there.
Peter Bell: Congratulations. And you're there talking about what is the largest and most intense soil anomalies -- I had missed that layer of information in the past. Quite the history to it.
Tony Baressi: Yes. Our Freegold Mountain property has an awful lot of different mineralized areas on it, but one of the most interesting mineralized areas is underlain by a six kilometer multi-element soil anomaly. The soil anomaly is very intense. The bull's eyes on it are over a gram gold and over 1% copper. It's multi-element with gold-silver-copper and molybdenum, which is the kind of thing you would expect to see with a porphyry system. Within that soil anomaly there are two areas that have seen a lot of previous exploration, which actually have two resource estimates. There was always the thought that the overall soil anomaly was basically just leakage from those two deposit areas -- dispersion of the soil across the area -- but what we've discovered in the last two years is that it is actually underlain by a hydrothermal system porphyry related across the entire six kilometer range of mountains.
Tony Baressi: If you take a look at a picture of where the soil anomaly is, it is actually encompassing a range of mountains. There are five spurs that come down off that mountain and four creeks. Those creeks are each past or current producing placer deposits with locally-derived gold.
Peter Bell: Wow. Legendary.
Tony Baressi: Funny you would say that because one of the creeks is actually called Legendary -- it's Revenue Creek. And that's aptly named creek because it's well known for having the richest placer channel in all of the Dawson range. I've got some pictures I'll show you of the payouts from one of the cleanups -- it's a clean up like nothing you'll see on any of those TV shows that are out there right. This thing is outrageous.
Peter Bell: Any PGMs?
Tony Baressi: No.
Peter Bell: Thank you. So much to say about it all, hearing you at Roundup again and what you said about the three resource estimates that were done in 2014, then starting from scratch in 2016 -- that made an impression on me. What a bold decision.
Tony Baressi: It's hard to turn your back on millions of ounces of gold and hundreds of millions of pounds copper in a resource, but when resources don't demand a capital investment and there's still exploration potential then that's what requires your attention! It's hard to not want to keep poking away at those resources but, in our case, we've got a district scale property. It's 34 kilometers from end to end. It's 200 square kilometers in total area. The Big Creek fault is a really important regional control on mineralization. It's one of the controls on mineralization at the Coffee deposit about 90 kilometers to the northwest of us. It runs through our whole property. There are all kinds of reason to believe that there would be exploration potential. When we dive deep into the geology, we found that there were a whole bunch of really important exploration opportunities. It was a good move in the end, but it's not an easy thing to do.
Peter Bell: And the way you explained one of the cartoons in the presentation there the diatreme breccia that was thought to be one thing but turned out to be another. Rethinking some of those 2011 holes was another piece of the puzzle there. I'm very glad to hear about an exploration team rethinking things.
Tony Baressi: Projects are an evolution of ideas. I don't fault the previous technical teams on this property at all. They did an amazing job of figuring out a lot of things. We're basically just building on that.
Peter Bell: And that's an interesting twist on it, too. People may think you're turning your back on these old resource estimates, but they're still there!
Tony Baressi: That's right. For instance, when the past technical teams were exploring the property between 2006 and 2012, they were discovering the Nucleus epithermal gold deposit. They've had intersections over a hundred grams gold and a whole bunch of occurrences of visible gold. They were hitting high-grade gold all over the place. That's the kind of results that you've got to follow-up. They did. They followed it up and it culminated with a resource that ended up not being as high-grade as it needed to be to demand a capital investment at current gold prices, but that exploration was definitely warranted. If we started hitting that kind of stuff someplace that hadn't been explored, then we'd be following it up like crazy.
Peter Bell: I recall you saying something about seeing visible gold in some of the recent drilling, how it was more concentrated than you might have expected?
Tony Baressi: This summer was a pretty amazing summer. We had some really high-grade mineralization in a place that nobody had explored before on the property. When you're finding this kind of stuff, you've got to keep it under your hat. You can't tell anyone. When I was away from the property, if anyone ever found any visible gold their first job was to take a picture of it and send it to me in an email with the message "VG Alert". Those are pretty fun emails to get. I was getting emails like that two-three times a day for weeks on end.
Peter Bell: Really?
Tony Baressi: Yeah. It was pretty hard to contain myself during that period of time.
Peter Bell: Wow.
Tony Baressi: And what's going on here is that we've got a porphyry system that's got a lot of copper and an above-average amount of gold associated with that copper. That's gold you never see because it's too fine-grained and inside of the chalcopyrite. It is over-printed by a late set of quartz carbonate veins that have poly-metallic mineralization. There's lead and zinc, and an incredible amount of visible gold within these veins. These are the kind of vein that are more typically dispersed very broadly and diffusely around porphyry systems. We see a little bit of these veins diffused broadly around this porphyry system, but they're concentrated right within the guts of the thing and that's why we're seeing so much visible gold when we're drilling through it. They're important in up-grading the gold values within the deposit.
Peter Bell: This comes back to that cartoon again of what they chased in the past versus what you're looking at now.
Tony Baressi: That's right. What we're looking at now is outboard of previous areas of exploration. There was a diatreme, which is the root of a highly explosive volcano, the Revenue diatreme has all kinds of mineralization, mostly around the edge of it. What we discovered was the Revenue diatreme was emplaced into a pre-existing mineralized system. That was a system that had not seen previous exploration and was the main focus of our exploration in 2017 and 2018. It's really what led to the successes that we've been having.
Peter Bell: And some of these headline successes, to hear you and John Anderson talking about the "best holes in the best porphyry in the Yukon" at Roundup -- it's not just bluster. There's a Yukon Geological Survey report in 2018 helping back this up. That's all good, but one of the things that stuck with me from Roundup was that there's not that many porphyry deposits within range of the surface in the Yukon.
Tony Baressi: That's right. The Yukon is not well-known for having a lot of porphyries. The Casino porphyry is definitely the most well known porphyry system in Yukon and it's much lower grade than the intersections we've been making of this Blue Sky porphyry. There are quite a few other porphyry prospects and showings basically between us and Casino, and a few other little ones around. For the most part, in order to have a porphyry-style deposit you need to have an intrusion come to very high crustal levels. Of the fertile intrusions in Yukon, most of the ones that we see either have not made it to high crustal level or, if they did make it to a high crustal level, that part of them is now eroded. If there ever was a porphyry system there, then it's gone. That's really the reason why there's not many porphyry systems in Yukon. But, on our property, we have a very specific geological environment that allowed an intrusion to come to very high crustal level. That's why it is so prospective for porphyry and is why we're discovering porphyry.
Peter Bell: Was there any thought on the cap that would have kept the volcano from exploding? Or is that different with the diatreme? I wonder about the volcanic history there, it sounds like an active area.
Tony Baressi: The porphyry did explode. And that's the diatreme. The last thing that that intrusion ever did was a giant explosive volcano. It never caused another stitch of mineralization after that. Before it blew, it did just exactly what you need a porphyry system to do -- it kept on cracking the rock around it and putting a bunch of veins out into it with a bunch of metal and causing the rock to become well-mineralized. Who knows what would have happened if that diatreme hadn't busted the top off of the thing. We might be in an even better system, but we're quite happy with what we've got.
Peter Bell: And is this Blue Sky porphyry that we're talking about?
Tony Baressi: Actually, I think that there's a porphyry intrusion that underlies the entire six kilometer soil anomaly that we have yet to identify. What we're calling the blue sky porphyry is not actually associated with a porphyry intrusion, it's co-spatial with it. The Blue Sky porphyry is hosted in rock that's a hundred and five million years old, but the mineralisation is 75 million years old. The reason why it's hosted where it's hosted is because that ground that has two directions of intersecting faults, so there's a lot of broken and permeable ground there. And that's where the fluids from an underlying intrusion were able to make it up to what's now the surface. And that's why it's mineralized there. The real prize here is to get down to the intrusion that caused those fluids. In a typical porphyry system, the interface between that intrusion and the surrounding country rock is the area where there's the most continuous and highest grade mineralization. We don't really think that what we've called the Blue Sky zone is anything compared to what remains to be tested.
Peter Bell: And a sense for depth there? Is there any indication yet?
Tony Baressi: Just the fact that this entire six kilometer area has porphyry-related hydrothermal system, continuously, across it means that it can't be too deep. If it was, for instance, two kilometers deep then we wouldn't be having this continuous hydrothermal footprint -- it would be too deep for that. It's hard to say. It could be just at the limit of what we've drilled, which is about 450 meters vertical extent. Or it could be as deep as a kilometer. It's hard to say. We've run some deep penetrating geophysics and are just in the very early stages of taking a close look at at the results from that geophysical survey. That should really bring to light what we're looking for at depth. As far as drilling next year, we're looking at drilling a couple of 1,600-meter-deep holes. We want to have the capacity to drill to 2,000 meters because we sure don't want to stop those holes in high-grade mineralization.
Peter Bell: Exciting. These drill rigs that are capable going down 2,000 meters -- it's amazing. I wonder, any sense of core size? I guess you can get the important information you need from relatively small core.
Tony Baressi: That's right. When you're drilling really deep holes sometimes it's wise to start off with wide-diameter core, then progressively do narrower and narrower diameter core. If you imagine those old antennas that came off of walkie talkies, how they decrease in size as they get longer -- that makes it easier to drill. Even if we ended up drilling at the deeper levels that would that would give us plenty of information. We'd still get a good test of the of the rock.
Peter Bell: That's because you're talking about porphyry style mineralization at depth, right?
Tony Baressi: That's right.
Peter Bell: Looking at this map of the six kilometer area, it was the first time I've seen this big pink circle you have down at the bottom there. It really conveys the message you're trying to get across. It looked impressive up on the stage at Roundup -- I think I heard a few people whispering to each other when you when you first showed that slide.
Tony Baressi: The thing I really loved about that is how people think, "well that's complete conjecture and more promotion than science" but I always like following that slide with the slide of the new Yukon Geological Survey map of our property, which also has a cross-section through this same area. They have the exact same thing in their cross section -- a big underlying causative intrusion. We might want to be promotional, but the the YGS is in the business of putting out what they really think the geology is like. And it mirrors what we've shown.
Peter Bell: Exactly. Is that 2018 report different from the mapping that was done?
Tony Baressi: No. That is the mapping that was done. It was published in early 2018 and the work was done in 2017.
Peter Bell: Thank you. I wonder if there's a paper or anything like that they'll publish as well or if it's just a map?
Tony Baressi: There's a woman Melissa Friend who is a an author on the map. She did publish a paper documenting the rock types and she's doing a Master's thesis right now looking at the geochemistry and geochronology of the rocks across the map area. She and I are currently working on a paper for a CIM volume that's going to discuss the Revenue-Nucleus system as a porphyry system.
Peter Bell: Wonderful. And going back to your PhD as well -- metallogeny in this general area of the world as I recall?
Tony Baressi: That's right. It had more of a focus on on the Hazelton group, which is mainly in Stikineia in British Columbia, but it's definitely analogous to what we're looking at here.
Peter Bell: Dealing with these big crustal-scale faults, there are some related concepts I would think. Cordilleran tectonics and metallogeny -- it is a little simpler up there than in some parts of BC?
Tony Baressi: Well, there's nothing simple about doing a PhD when you're looking at things on the kind of scale that you look at when you're doing a doctorate. My PhD was really looking at a belt of rocks all across British Columbia. Now, I am picking up from that and moving to a property in Yukon. My original focus here was property-scale, which is in a lot of ways easier to have a thorough review of everything that's ever been written about it compared to a province-wide sort of thin. On the other hand, there are different complications on different scales. It was pretty nice to change focus from province-scale to a 34 kilometer long scale.
Peter Bell: And really the six kilometers within that.
Tony Baressi: That's our main focus for sure. We've got a bunch of other pipeline projects that we're moving forward, as well. It is fun to spend a few days here and there digging my teeth into some of those.
Peter Bell: I wonder about some of them. Not a lot of time for discussion about that stuff up on stage at Roundup, but there's some in the new presentation here.
Tony Baressi: That's right. I can tell you about the Irene showing, which is a pretty exciting thing that we've been working on developing this year. Irene is an epithermal quartz vein that was first discovered, I think, in 2013 during placer mining activities. The placer miner called up our geologist and said, "Hey, I think I found something cool at the bottom of this creek." The geologists went up there and took a look and said, "Yeah, that's that's pretty cool!" Over the course of two years, there was enough exposed at the bottom of the creek to define an epithermal vein over a hundred and forty meters strike length. They channel-sampled that vein all across the strike length and had multi-gram gold over multimeters every place that they sampled. This year, we did the inaugural drill program on that vein system and tested it over 450 meters strike length. We hit it in every single hole. We had results up to 20 grams gold. In most of the holes, we had multi-gram gold over multi-meters. That's really interesting, but the compelling thing about this 450 meters of strike length of gold mineralization that we have in Guder Creek is that this is at the very bottom of a mountain -- if you line that vein up with the top of the mountain, then you have an area that saw exploration back in the '60s, '70s, and '80s. There's another vein exactly along strike that had very similar grades. Again, there were grades up to, I think, about 18 grams gold. Most of the holes had multi-gram gold over multi-meters. Now, if you line those up from end to end where they've been drilled then the intervening area and those areas combined is about 3.7 kilometers strike length. And not just 3.7 kilometers strike length, but something really interesting is that there's a 500 meter variation in elevation. Now, when you look at most epithermal vein systems the best mineralization is contained within about a 200 meter envelope of elevation. There's a very good chance that the drilling that found nice epithermal veining at the bottom of the mountain and drilling that defined the same thing at the top of the mountain are both outside of the well-mineralized envelope that's contained in epithermal systems. We've got 500 meters of elevation change to prospect between these two areas. It's virtually un-explored, except for one trench that is smack in the middle of those two areas. In that trench, we have a grab sample that graded 425 grams gold. We're pretty excited about this. People talk about low-hanging fruit -- this may be low-hanging fruit for us. The strike length and variation in vertical extent is extensive. This is a kind of target like Shovelnose in southern BC. You just have to get into the right part of it and you start getting really good grades.
Peter Bell: The drilling you did in 2018 -- the last time we talked I don't recall if you were going to drill there or if it had been done yet? It looks like several holes there.
Tony Baressi: That's right. I think we put eleven holes in there, testing 450 meters of strike length. That might seem like a lot, but if you look at what our peers in Yukon are doing on similar epithermal projects then they are Swiss cheese-ing the thing. If you look at the vertical zone where White Gold is exploring, for example, they've gotten much denser drilling. A lot of the drilling that they have in that zone has results very similar to Irene. We suspect that there's a very good chance that if we did similar density of drilling here then we'd be intersecting some of the same kind of high-grade stuff. That's pure speculation. It's hard to say, but when you increase the density of your drilling you increase the probability of hitting high-grade ore shoots, which is what these kinds of things are known to have.
Peter Bell: The challenge for you is prioritizing things -- large property, lots of things to do. Was there any other drilling at any other places on the property in 2018?
Tony Baressi: Our drilling focused on the areas the area encompassing Revenue and Nucleus, then this was our "other" project on the property. For drilling, we did a fair bit of grassroots work on some of the other prospects on Freegold Mountain. One of the exciting ones that we're developing is a very little-known porphyry system called the Cabin porphyry. When I started working for the company, it really was nothing more than a cross on the map. We had to dig pretty deep into work that was done back in the very early '70s to find out anything about it. We did a bunch of trenching over it this year and came up with some really interesting results. It's a dead ringer for a leached phyllic zone above a mineralized porphyry system. This is one of the porphyry pipeline projects that we're working on right now.
Peter Bell: Wonderful. Looking at the project-wide geological map and hearing you talk about the dilation of the big faults, the way they've kind of split apart around the Revenue-Nucleus area and created a "lozenge" or something? That was an interesting word I hadn't heard before. Looking at it all -- it's clear there are some bends and space created there and at Irene, as well. Quite a few faults indicated there. And Cabin to the south. They seem to peter out down there, I don't know if that's just based on what you can see at surface with mapping so far? The broad structural aspects of this project area are pretty wild.
Tony Baressi: The structural architecture of the Big Creek fault, as it comes through our property, is really dynamic. It's responsible for most of the mineralization on the property and it's super important to understand the structure. It's much more complicated than what you can see on a regional scale map like we've got right here. We're working very closely with the expert structural geologists at Goldcorp and we've also engaged Terrane Geoscience, which is a structural geology consultancy company. Together with the guys at Goldcorp, we're working very hard to understand the structural controls that are going on here. That's largely a property-wide exercise, but it's largely meant to help us zero-in on the controls for mineralization in the Revenue and Nucleus area.
Peter Bell: Wonderful. Coming back to Irene, that one grab sample in the trench there -- I wonder about drilling versus more surface work?
Tony Baressi: The entire area between Irene and the Goldstar vein on the top of the mountain is highly perspective for a continuation of that vein. I think, probably, our next step here would be to drill the entire area -- not just under the one sample. It might be advantageous to try to do that with a less expensive drill rig than what we did this year. Maybe some RC drilling. That way gives more bang for your buck when you're testing a really large area.
Peter Bell: There's a creek winding its way through there, but it's not that rugged terrain in terms of being able to position the rig.
Tony Baressi: I think we'd be able to put a road in, there's already a road that took us all the way to where we drilled this year. And there's a road on the top of the mountain where it was drilled back in the '70s and '80s. Extending those roads, one up from the bottom and one down from the top, would be pretty simple logistically, I think. That's one of the great things about this property -- there's a incredible amount of pre-existing infrastructure. That traces back to the history of it.
Peter Bell: I think I heard you say something like the largest part of the Big Creek fault -- the largest road-accessible part?
Tony Baressi: Yes. This area has seen exploration since the 1930s. There's a lot of people that have been in there building roads and not just for the type of exploration we're doing -- there's been a lot of placer mining. There's currently placer mining in the area, which helps maintain the infrastructure.
Peter Bell: Advanced reconnaissance team, I always like to think of them as something like that. There's not very many places in the world where you know you've got people digging up creeks and and telling you about what's underneath them especially within a legal framework that's above board and not illegal.
Tony Baressi: That's right. It's nice to to have a separation between the surface and the subsurface rights. When those guys find something that's attached to the bedrock, they're not allowed to have it. They're not trying to get it and it makes it very easy for them to co-operate with us.
Peter Bell: There's lots of unknowns about Irene yet, but are there potential for several phases or pulses -- is that potentially in the cards?
Tony Baressi: Yes, there's at least two types of veins that run through there. There's a quartz-arsenopyrite-breccia system, which is very typical of an epithermal type vein. As the boiling of the fluids causes brecciation of the rock, there are other veins that are poly-metallic with massive sulphide veins. We consider those to be two separate, but overlapping stages of mineralization along the fault system. These fluids are using the pre-existing or active fault system as a fluid conduit.
Peter Bell: Are you seeing both those types at the Goldstar and Irene or just one or the other?
Tony Baressi: We see them both at Irene. I haven't looked at the Goldstar core yet, so I can't really say.
Peter Bell: Great. What an awesome prospect area. That's pretty exciting.
Tony Baressi: This map has Irene and Goldstar on it, but there's a bunch of other stuff up there that we didn't even put on the map because it's not relevant to that story. Here is the Stoddart porphyry just a half kilometer off from this epithermal system. And just north of Goldstar is a skarn system that has seen quite a bit of exploration. To the north of Irene, all along the top of the mountain, there's a bunch of other gold-bearing veins up there. That's why people were exploring Freegold Mountain back in the '30s -- every rock they broke open had gold in it!
Peter Bell: What a name for a mountain, too. Freegold -- if that doesn't tell ya. And I wondered, Tinta?
Tony Baressi: Right. Tinta is an area that we did some exploration on in 2016. We didn't do any exploration there in 2017. We were planning to do some exploration there at the end of the summer, but we did some First Nations consultation and discovered that is an important hunting ground for the local Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation. We decided to delay our exploration program up there so that we weren't interfering with their hunting activities, for which they were most grateful. We were most grateful for the opportunity to have consultation with them so that we could find out how to not interfere with their activities. We're going back there in the spring in 2019 to do some drilling. It is probably the first place that we're going to hit up. The thing about Tinta is that there's a defined resource there with a bunch of drilling through it. It's a poly-metallic vein deposit and it's defined over about 800 meters strike length. It's a vein that is thick in the middle -- out towards the edges, it tapers off, and then it just disappears. There are a few trenches and drill holes along strike it that validated that it does disappear. In 2016, we did a broad soil survey and a VLF EM survey, which is a type of geophysics that showed a very strong potential for this vein to reappear along strike about 600 meters in the form of a VLF EM conductor coincident with about a kilometer-and-a-half long multi-element soil anomaly that was very similar and, in places, even stronger than the soil anomaly that surrounds the Tinta vein itself! At the end of 2017, we trenched the area. We put seven trenches across that coincident anomaly and found vein material in every single one of those trenches. Some of it had multi-gram gold. Some of it had multi percent copper, lead, zinc. And this is in really leached rock at the surface. We don't think it's anything compared to what we're actually gonna hit at depth. Now, we've got this kilometer-and-a-half long conductor and soil anomaly with validated vein material that contains gold in it over a strike length that is twice as long as the pre-existing Tinta vein. We're gonna get up there and test that thing to see if there's potential to grow the resource there. We're also going to do some drilling on the actual Tinta vein, where there were some high-grade historical results in a couple of holes but drilling density wasn't enough to fill it in the resource very well. We have some potential to increase the resource at Tinta just by doing a bit of in-fill drilling. With all the holes in that area of the old resource there, there's still a few gaps that would be significant to fill-in.
Peter Bell: I'm impressed to hear that. It looks like you're up onto the ridge a little bit with those trenches.
Tony Baressi: That's right, the vein sort of follows the top of the top of Tinta Hill.
Peter Bell: And speaking of the leaching and things up there, I wonder about depths to get down to some of the fresh for drilling?
Tony Baressi: It's tens of meters. For trenching, it can be difficult. You can dig a couple of meters into soft broken rock, at most, with an excavator and then it becomes too dangerous to keep on going. These trenches are in bedrock, but the bedrock is strongly clay-altered from surface water. For the most part, the sulphides are rusted out of it. You just see a bunch of rust and that sort of thing.
Peter Bell: Surprised to hear tens of meters and not greater oxidation.
Tony Baressi: It's different on different parts of the property, and in different parts of the Yukon. At Nucleus, we've found places where we've drilled almost a hundred meters vertical extent and are still getting oxidation. That's something that's good, in some ways. If you're looking at recovering gold and the rock is fully oxidized, then you can just look at a heap leach scenario -- that's what Goldcorp's doing with Coffee and what Victoria Gold is doing at Eagle. There's some potential for that sort of thing on this property. It would be nice if Tinta was like that, but it's not.
Peter Bell: I wonder about Tad / Toro. I see a big picture here, but I don't recall seeing this name marked on the project map.
Tony Baressi: Tad / Toro is not part of the Freegold Mountain property. It's a different property that we have located along the Big Creek fault to the northwest of the Freegold Mountain property. Currently, this property is not a road-accessible property, which is part of what makes it really exciting. There's government infrastructure funding that's supposed to help create a road to go all the way up to Casino and, when that road is created, it will go right through this property. This is a property that's seen on-and-off exploration for about 30 years. There's quite a few very interesting results from the property. There's a lot of epithermal gold potential, porphyry potential, and it's the kind of property that is really exciting. It's not as exciting as it's gonna be when you can drive right onto it, instead of spending a bucket load of money on helicopters.
Peter Bell: I'm speechless, Tony.
Tony Baressi: Really, we have three properties -- the Freegold Mountain property, Tad/Toro, and another property called Anadlusite Peak. This is one that is a personal project of mine. I staked this as open ground back in 2017. It was, actually, exactly this time of year when I staked it. I was at a talk by Bram van Straaten who's a BC Geological Survey geologist that had just given a talk at Roundup about a 27 kilometer long alteration belt just to the east of Dease Lake where he had just completed a bunch of mapping and defined this belt with three big alteration blowouts. One of which was Kaizen Discovery's Tanzilla property, which is a Friedland company, and the other one is McBride, which is owned by Teck. They're both off on the edges of the alteration belt but, right smack in the middle of the alteration belt, there was a big blowout that was completely unstaked. So, I just staked it. In 2017, we went and spent two days on the property -- mostly mapping that big alteration zone. In that alteration zone, we found a whole bunch of really high-temperature alteration, but we didn't find any mineralization at all. Zero. But the helicopter let us out just to the south of the alteration zone and there we found a whole bunch of high-grade copper bearing veins that were loaded with bornite and chalcocite. I'd seen things like that in the region and I didn't think that much about them until we got the assay results back. They had multi-gram gold in them. You start looking at multi-gram gold and multi-percent copper -- all of a sudden, things start looking more interesting. That's in an area where we had literally spent maybe an hour out of two days work. We went back there in 2018 and revisited that zone. We defined a 550 meter long strike length for the extent of that style of mineralization. We collected a bunch of samples that had multi-gram or multi-percent copper and a few that had really nice gold grades. The next day, we flew to the next ridge over, which is about a kilometer and a half away. On that Ridge, we defined a 1.1 kilometer trend of the same style of mineralization. And where the ridge widens into a plateau, we collected high-grade samples on either side of that plateau -- 300 meters apart from one another -- and we collected some real whoppers up there. We ended up with a sample that was only half a gram gold, but had 67% copper and 500 gram silver. People say to me, , what'd you do -- scrape some malachite into a bag?" but that's not what I did. This was a kilogram and a half of material -- the sample weighed a kilogram and a half. I still have some big chunks of it and it includes wall rock. It was just the intersection of two veins and a bit of a blowout. It was really nice-looking stuff. What do you do with this? These veins, in and of themselves, are not something that you're probably going to mine or explore for, but there is something that we're really excited about with this property -- it looks like we're building the elements that you want to see that surround a very fertile porphyry system. We've got an advanced argillic alteration zone that's part of a blow-out with the highest temperature alteration anywhere along the 27 kilometer long belt. And then we have these veins that are basically propylitically alteration, which is another type of alteration shell you see around porphyry systems. Within this propylitic zone, we have the highest grade and most extensive mineralization anywhere in the 27 kilometer long belt including the stuff in Teck's McBride or Kaizen Discoveries' ground. And the whole thing is underlain by a big, regional mag-high, which makes it look like there's probably an oxidized intrusion under there. We're piecing together the early stage elements that lead people into porphyry discoveries. I was talking to some of the guys that are really familiar with the story of the discovery of Highland Valley and they were telling me that these kinds of veins are what they used to vector-in on Highland Valley.
Peter Bell: Setting up for another speech at Roundup!
Tony Baressi: It's early days for this one, but it's pretty exciting.
Peter Bell: And Highland Valley -- any short history lesson there?
Tony Baressi: Oh, I don't know a lot about Highland Valley compared to some people.
Peter Bell: Some people do seem to know it inside-out.
Tony Baressi: Yes. It's a real prize in BC, but I'm not that familiar with it.
Peter Bell: Looking at the topography of the area that you were working on in 2018, some nice relief there. It seems to be a bit steep on one side, but you're up on the ridgeline there working. Ridge and spurs, I guess.
Tony Baressi: The work that we did was up on the ridges. The really great thing about working in mountainous terrain is that you can test depth profiles or variations in depth without drilling. The next stage of work here is going to be to explore the bottoms of these mountains, around the edges where there's outcrop along the edge. That will give us some idea of how the alteration and mineralization changes with depth. If we start getting an indication that we're getting into a higher temperature system with depth, then that's going to be really proof of concept that this is related to a porphyry system.
Peter Bell: And is there exposure at those lower levels?
Tony Baressi: Ask me next year.
Peter Bell: Wonderful. A great field program to look forward to how. How will you juggle it all between this project and this target?
Tony Baressi: We have a great technical team. In 2017, when we started our drill program, I put a huge amount of effort into recruiting some of the best porphyry geologists to become involved with our program. We have four project geologists that work for us seasonally as well as two project managers that work for us pretty much year-round now. Last year, we had 100% return of our seasonal technical team, as well. We expect that we're gonna have that again this year. We're really well set up in that regard. Two years ago, they were top employees but we've been mentoring them for two years and they're ready to step up and start running programs on their own. There's a bunch of new really good people that are becoming available, as well. I could see that, as the company progresses, we're going to continue to mentor people and bring them up through the ranks. That's what makes it easy to be able to diversify and do all of these pipeline projects while we're still doing a good job of the work in our main focus on the Revenue and Nucleus area.
Peter Bell: Above and beyond what most juniors attempt, let alone can accomplish. Continuity is so important.
Tony Baressi: We were really proud that all of these great technical people wanted to come back and work with us again. I think it's partly because they love the project. The project is so exciting -- you can't imagine what it was like to be there this year when we were pulling the stuff out of the ground and proving that our ideas were right. It's also because we give people opportunities to stretch their limits. We're mentoring them and giving people responsibility and treating them well. I can't say enough good stuff about our crew. We've got an amazing crew.
Peter Bell: I sat in on the AME Roundup awards a couple years in the past and live-tweeted them. Hearing people describe that moment when they came up over the ridge and saw this or had the hammer out they banged that rock, I always feel like I want you to have a GoPro strapped to your helmet or something to capture some of these moments on the fly. It's amazing -- these are stories that are few and far between. You never know when it's gonna happen, so I say keep the camera rolling. You may end up with a lot of useless footage, but if you capture one of those moments that can't be repeated then that's special.
Tony Baressi: It is a challenge for some of us long-in-the-tooth geos to be as tech-savvy as you are.
Peter Bell: It's coming now. The young people that you speak about -- there's a whole wave of things coming to this industry. The innovation hub at Roundup -- it was pretty neat to see all the virtual reality and augmented reality going on. Artificial intelligence and all kinds of things people are doing to push the boundaries. Good to hear from you doing good old fieldwork with basic ground-truthing after pulling ideas from the BCGS no less. Good call staking this ground at Andalusite Peak yourself.
Tony Baressi: Well, thank you. You're right, it's exciting days. There's an awful lot of innovation happening right now. It's good to see all of the younger geos that are breaking into our industry being capable with the new technology and ideas. They are open-minded towards it and I think that's really one of the things that's gonna help move move a lot of things forward.
Peter Bell: You mentioned Goldcorp before. Always lots of questions around that. We'll wait and see how things shuffle out. Anything you could say about that at this point in time?
Tony Baressi: Sure, I can say something -- who wouldn't want to have Newmont as a partner as well as Goldcorp?
Peter Bell: Yes! I think they would want to have you guys, too. They have their choice, globally, but this is an exceptional companies with a stable of good projects and good people in it -- it has to be high on their list.
Tony Baressi: There were a couple of Newmont geologists poking around our core shack and I can say that, at least from the geos point of view, it was all smiles.
Peter Bell: And the front page picture of the deck here I see stacks and stacks of boxes is that from this season?
Tony Baressi: You know, that is mostly from this season. Yes. But that's part of a core library that's extensive and includes stuff from as far back as the '70s.
Peter Bell: Great work Tony. Anything else you'd mentioned?
Tony Baressi: Well, Peter, I thought I'd just point out that next year we are going to be doing an aggressive drill program. What we're testing is something very similar to SolGold's Cascabel project. We have this very large at-surface hydrothermal system that has high-grade mineralization where there's ground preparation from faulting. All of that mineralization is caused by what we now know must be a blind intrusion at depth and that's exactly the situation the SolGold found themselves in at Cascabel. Then, they drilled one deep hole right down into something that's almost identical to our Blue Sky porphyry intersections and they hit the causative intrusion with the mineralization at depth. A year and a half later, their market cap was through the roof and they had a giant gold resource. We are the only company out there right now that's offering the opportunity to be involved in something like that again. We are poised to be drilling a hole just like that hole. In an industry that's all about risk-reward there will never be a time when our company will be able to offer the kind of reward that we have to offer this year. In any given district, there has been great success with deep drilling of porphyries and, typically, it takes one company to have the money and the guts to drill one of these very expensive holes. When they do it and succeed, all of a sudden there are numerous deposits within those districts that start to follow suit and turn projects that have been worked for decades into mines in very short order. That's what we think we are poised to do.
Peter Bell: Tony Baressi, Vice-President Exploration of Triumph Gold. Thanks very much!
Tony Baressi: Thank you, Peter.
Learn more on TIG's website here, https://www.triumphgoldcorp.com/