Last week I spoke to Jim Pettit, CEO of Aben Resources, to talk about why the Golden Triangle is a rich area to find high grade gold, what his company hopes to achieve this season, and why Eric Sprott invested in Aben Resources last year.
On The Next Bull Market Move we have Jim Pettit, who is the president and CEO of Aben Resources. How are you today, Jim?
Very good. Thanks for inviting me.
Let's begin by talking about the Justin Gold project you have in the Yukon. I understand that you're going to begin a drilling campaign there very soon. So can you give us some more details about this and tell us why you've chosen to focus on this part of your land package first? I understand what you have found previously is an intrusion related gold system. Can you talk about this?
Sure, absolutely. The reason we're doing it first is just the timing, the weather, the accessibility and everything is better there. Even though it's in the Yukon, it's further to the east. It's on the east side of the Yukon. They don't get the snow that the Golden Triangle gets because it's closer to the coast.
So your difference could be a difference of 10 feet of snow and 40 feet of snow. So this year the weather is a little better. It's probably in our favor. But I thought it would give us another month and a half to two months of drilling and news releases and that. And then we can move right into the Golden Triangle.
And yes, we've done some, the last couple of years, mainly soil sampling and then trenching last year and we're on to something. We call it the Lost Ace. It's about a kilometer and a half away from our intrusion related system, the POW Zone that we discovered in 2012.
And this Lost Ace is very similar to the Three Aces that Golden Predator has, and they're right beside us. We're in the same formation but a higher elevation. It looks just like what they have, it's looks like an orogenic, veining system and there's quite a bit of high grade there visible. And so the trenching has allowed us to take a close look at it. And those results from trenching last year were anywhere from trace to 88 grams.
We've got a series of trenches covering an area of about 250 meters and this year we're going to go in with a RAB drill and that's the goal - drill about 20 holes, about 50 to 70 meters deep because this stuff is all there exposed, pretty much exposed at surface.
And the theory is, is it related to this intrusion? And the possibilities are pretty good that intrusion came up and the older rock came up with it. And that could be the source of the fluid mobility and it could be an over printing. There's lots of things to consider there so it's something that we thought we just need to look at. I also should mention we're going to do six or seven diamond drill holes, too, closer to the intrusion. And that'll expand what we did back in 2012.
I think investors are very much looking forward to another drilling program at the south and north boundary zone at your flagship Kerr project. So with all the data you compiled since last summer, what have you learned from those results that will help guide the drilling program for this summer? And has the decision been made on how big the drilling program will be for both areas?
Well, let's start with the last question. So far we're looking at about the same, starting with 5,000 meters with what we know now, and we could end up doing what we did last year, increasing it to 10. It's going to be based on results.
But the data compilation that we've been going through this year is pretty extensive. There's a lot of the assay analysis and 3D. Through that we have generated three targets that are very interesting to us that we want to get into to start our program. One is north of the north boundary, a couple of the holes extended well north of north boundary. And as we got to the end of those holes, they were both mineralized and there's a big gap between them. So we want to know what's there.
The other target obviously is the south boundary. With that area there we did three holes and we were constricted by the lack of drill pads. We had nine to work with that were approved for last year. And that gave us three holes.
We hit some very, very good looking large or wide intercepts, say up to a hundred meters lower grade, sub five or six gram. But that's telling us something, right? Because it's similar and it's chock full of Calico pyrite and it looks very much like the north boundary zone. So what we want to do is get some new pad locations into that south boundary because we think it could be just a change of angles and we could be onto something. It's definitely indicating it.
There is also a big soil anomaly there too. There's a big gold, silver anomaly. Geophysical results from years ago overlays with an old geo chem anomaly. That's what's got our attention right now. The other target is the old Noranda Hole. We never really had opportunity to get in there last season simply because of lack of drill pads.
Now we have 40 new pad locations which we can work with. And so that Noranda Hole was like 10 meters of 38 grams and it only really had one whole from 2017 pointed at it. We want to go in and do what we did with the north boundary zone and come in underneath it. You have to get a little closer with the pad and see what we can come up with there.
And there may be some kind of continuity between them because it's about 200 meters, 250 meters south of the north boundary zone. So that's what we want to get to very quickly.
And then last year we had extra guys on the ground doing more sampling and that's given us more data to work with and we've got areas within the whole boundary zone still very wide open for us to start looking at more drilling as we head south, even further south than the south boundary. We're going to do an airborne mag survey at the beginning of the season.
It'll give us some of the deeper rooted structural information. It should help us along with the geo chem on surface. And we'll come up with a lot more drill targets because we have the money and we have the people this year that we didn't have. We have extra guys on the ground, boots on the ground leading a drill program and it's going to make a big difference for us.
Jim, you have a history of making discoveries within the gold space. Your previous company Bayfield Ventures was sold to New Gold back in 2014. so what has this experience taught you about making discoveries and selling them on to bigger companies? A successful discovery can prove very profitable for early investors if they understand the risks and the team behind the company and what they're trying to achieve. So can you talk a bit about this?
Yeah. Well, there's no question, we were very fortunate with Bayfield which we sold 2014 on New Year's Eve. And we simply liked the area that Rainy River had been working in and we got our hands on some land there and they were having some pretty good results and we went ahead and drilled and we had really good results. Turns out, that property ended up in the middle of their mine plan.
The Golden Triangle is a bit different than that. It's a big area play. There's a lot of companies up there and it's well known for it's high grade potential, i.e. Pretium, Eskay Creek, Snip and we're right there in the mix, right in the middle of the Golden Triangle. We're doing things very methodically, but it's easier to do today because of the infrastructure and that sort of thing. And I think that's where I want to be.
We also look for properties that aren't pure grassroots. They have information. This had a lot of data available when we compiled the three packages and put them together as the Forest Kerr package. It had a lot of information available, a lot of holes drilled, a lot of samples taken, sporadic geo physics, but gave us a good starting point. And our very first target was the north boundary zone.
We actually had about 15 targets identified after eight months of data compilation before we ever started drilling up there. And we're still on the first target. So that's the key. I mean I don't like just picking up grass roots with no info, never been done before sort of thing. This is a nice opportunity because given the upgrade in technology, given that you've got fresh minds looking at something and they look at things differently and quite often that's turns into success.
I understand Eric Sprott is an investor in Aben Resources. So what do you think he saw when investing? Eric is well known for making big bets in the exploration juniors. So give us a sense of why someone like Eric would be interested in a company like Aben Resources?
Well, I think he is a smart guy. He is probably the biggest gold bug in the word in the world. But he doesn't just blindly go after things. He's looking for high grade gold potential because he believes in gold. He believes in the longterm of gold and the potential there. And yeah, so when I offered him part of the financing and he looked at it and said, well, can I have twice what you're offering? And that's what he ended up with.
You gotta be comfortable with the people. He is. And he does his own thing. He's put money into a lot of deals. And he told me not too long ago, he's getting lots of phone calls and this is a stage of the whole gold cycle that he loves because you want to invest. And he's patient. You want to invest in the early stages of the gold cycle. He thinks it's just starting to move up now on a longterm basis.
So he's getting himself prepared. And when things start picking up and you'll see all the stocks starting to move. Some will move faster than others, but that's what we call when all boats float, that's where you make your money. You make it by buying now.
As we begin to wrap up the interview, what should investors look out for over the next few months?
Well over the next few months I think you're gonna hear a lot of talk about getting prepared and started for the Golden Triangle. The season's going to begin and the news flow is going to be pretty energetic, I'm sure. I know with us it will.
This is when things start picking up and we start marketing and then drilling hopefully starts at the end of May, beginning of June in the Justin and then we're going to be up in the Golden Triangle right after that and that'll go right through to October, November. And we think if you look at our chart, it's pretty predictable. Oddly enough, it's very predictable.
So as we get closer to the season, I think you see the volume starting to pick up and the appreciation in the stock price. Now at the end of the season, I'm trying to close that gap and we'll see what happens. I had a project, but we're not going to push ahead with that one for that time of the year. Didn't work for us. But I think this year is going to be better than last year.
Thank you very much for your time today, Jim.
You bet. Thank you very much.
The Next Bull Market Move
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I am currently a shareholder of Aben Resources.