In this excerpt from my interview with Mr. Paul Angus, Regional Exploration Project Manager for Aton Resources (TSXV:AAN), we discuss regional exploration at Sir Bakis. This transcript discusses a photo from a grab sample near Sir Bakis and the broader geology of the Sir Bakis area.
Peter Bell: Hello, Paul. Thanks for sharing this photo of the regional exploration team in the field here.
Paul Angus: Yes, this is me with Abdelhaleem Assran. We run the regional exploration for Aton. He's one of our Egyptian national Senior Geologists. We explore the Concession together and I think we make quite a good team.
Peter Bell: Is that a leather hat you've got there?
Paul Angus: Yes, it is. It was too warm, I have now traded it in for something lighter weight. This was earlier on in the year when it wasn't as hot as it is now.
Peter Bell: And these rocks in this photo, what are we looking at?
Paul Angus: We're looking at a quartz vein. This is quite big quartz vein to the north of the main mine at Sir Bakis. Just across from us, to the left of the picture, there was a 32.9 g/t Au sample taken as a grab sample from another sub-parallel vein. There are some nice results out of these areas.
Peter Bell: Is this the main vein that we first talked about at Sir Bakis?
Paul Angus: No, this is another vein just to the north east of the Main Vein. The Main Vein is directly behind the photographer, approximately 200m away.
Peter Bell: And it goes towards the vein swarms that we talked about?
Paul Angus: Not exactly. The Vein Swarm is to the north west of us, about 300m away behind Abdelhaleem’s back.
Peter Bell: OK thanks that gives me a better understanding of the orientation of the veins and workings.
Peter Bell: This vein looks to be very large. Is it 5 meters across?
Paul Angus: It is actually off-set slightly in the middle of the photo there and it makes it look a bit thicker than it actually is. It's about 3m meters across. It's not quite 5 meters, but I can see how you think that as we are looking at it obliquely in this photograph.
Peter Bell: Great, thanks. Have you sampled this vein?
Paul Angus: Yes, we have. There is a sample from this vein that came back at about 1.2 g/t Au. The altered granodiorite host rock along the margins also contain anomalous gold grades. As I mentioned before we also sampled another sub-parallel vein nearby that assayed 32.9 g/t Au.
Peter Bell: Great. And that was just from a chip sample?
Paul Angus: Yes, we chipped a sample from that quartz vein pretty much where we are in this photo.
Peter Bell: When you're taking a chip sample like that, is there any visual indication that one spot may be juicy? This is not visible gold, is it just kind of a blind sample at this point?
Paul Angus: Yes, this one was didn’t look too promising but it came back OK. We have found visible gold in some of the other quartz veins in this area though.
Peter Bell: Just to clarify -- is that intrusion I’ve marked the same one from the other photos of Sir Bakis?
Paul Angus: Yes, that's the Younger Granite pluton to the north of Sir Bakis.
Peter Bell: OK, thank you. How does this fit with the deposit type of other targets?
Paul Angus: We are looking at Massaghat, Bohlog, and possibly Zeno as fitting with this kind of “RIR” Reduced Intrusion Related gold system. Then, Semna, Abu Gaharish, and possibly Black Gaharish are probably orogenic in origin.
Peter Bell: Do we have any idea broadly about the sequencing of the intrusion related to this at Sir Bakis versus the others that you just mentioned that have this same type? And then how that relates to the different types? Lots to discuss there.
Paul Angus: We are thinking that the RIR styles of mineralization within these areas are all genetically associated with the intrusion of these Younger Granites. The mineralization at Semna and Abu Gaharish is strongly structurally controlled and orogenic in character, but it’s not clear what the relationship to the RIR style of mineralization is.
Peter Bell: Okay. Are we looking at a diameter of 40 kilometers around these targets, or would it be larger than that?
Paul Angus: Not that big Peter, but it really depends which prospects we're talking about. Massaghat is maybe five or six kilometers north-east of Sir Bakis. Bohlog is about two kilometers away from Massaghat. These prospects occur within a belt through the center of our Concession area, about 15-20 km long and approximately 10 km across.
Peter Bell: What fun. Looking at this regional map, we can see Sir Bakis is located in the western side of the Concession. North of Abu Garida and east of Hamama, in a large area indicated as having intrusion-related and orogenic gold potential. The company has a resource on Hamama from Q1 2017 and another resource far to the north-east at the Abu Marawat deposit. Lots in between with Sir Bakis, Massaghat, Bohlog, Zeno, and much more.
Paul Angus: Yes, there's lots to look at. It's a big area for us to work on. There are many interesting places for us to do more work.
Peter Bell: How do you tackle something so big?
Paul Angus: It's a big area, but there's a lot in it that is very interesting. It’s just a matter of priorities and hard work. We are using remote sensing and satellite imagery to identify potential areas for field investigation and then it is a matter of getting boots on the ground, looking at the geology, and sampling promising structures and lithologies.
Peter Bell: Great, thanks Paul. I will just point out that there is a desert track that goes fairly close by Sir Bakis. Is that how you got the excavator at site?
Paul Angus: Yes, it’s actually a fairly well maintained dirt road that goes to a quartz quarry to the south of our license area, and then further. We brought the excavator in from Kilometer 85 along that track on a low loader.
Peter Bell: Looks like a distance of 25 kilometers – not bad.
Paul Angus: Yes, approximately, maybe closer to 20 km. Kilometer 85 is a Bedouin settlement located on the main Qena-Safaga highway, which is a great road.
Peter Bell: I've seen photos of the road with the sign of the Abu Marawat Concession. The road is paved -- is it four lanes?
Paul Angus: Yes, it is. It’s in very good condition and it makes getting to site from Hurghada or Luxor very easy and comfortable.
Peter Bell: Is it a separated highway, too?
Paul Angus: Yes it is.
Peter Bell: Thinking back to where we were in the first photo, looking at the vein extending to hillsides to the north. How far away was that on this map?
Paul Angus: It's difficult to show it on this scale map because the vein extends for 1.6 kilometers, which is pretty small on this scale of map. It would be basically hidden underneath the mine symbol at Sir Bakis.
Peter Bell: Right. And that really captures the situation facing Aton Resources in a nutshell. A 2 kilometer vein is just a blip on the full map. I would like to briefly ask about the rock types here at Sir Bakis. We have metavolcanics and Younger Granites. Is the metavolcanic the host rock?
Paul Angus: No, the rocks hosting the mineralization at Sir Bakis are mainly basement granodiorites, shown in pale purple on the map. To the south of the Sir Bakis mine the vein also extends into metasediments, which occur within the general metavolcanic package.
Peter Bell: Exciting. Does the mineralization concentrate on the edges of the Younger Granites, in some sense?
Paul Angus: Yes it does appear that way and all of the areas around the periphery of these granitic intrusions have potential for more intrusion related mineralization and that is where we are focusing a lot of our regional exploration efforts at the moment.
Peter Bell: I see the words granitic basement and other basement granitoids. What's the difference between the Younger Granites versus the granitic basement? These Younger Granites came in afterwards, I guess.
Paul Angus: Yes, these are younger than the older granitic basement. The Younger Granite intrusions will have forced volatile fluids through the system, creating zones of alteration and mineralization.
Peter Bell: This granitic basement, does that refer to granite intrusions that were lower or older?
Paul Angus: Older. The rocks of the granitic basement were formed within an island arc setting and are related to the volcanic arc subduction which occurred in the Neoproterozoic Era. The later emplacement of the Younger Granites was controlled by regional tectonic lineaments and structures, and was associated with the late phase of Dokhan volcanism and continued through into the post-orogenic or post-cratonization phase.
Peter Bell: I would imagine that some interesting things can happen there.
Paul Angus: Certainly, the development of the Arabian-Nubian Shield was very complex, and this is one of the reasons why we've got so many different prospects to look at within the Concession area. The complex tectonic history of the region is the reason we have such a diverse suite of mineralization types; as Mark Campbell says, ‘the Concession is like a geological Disneyland’ and that is why it makes it such an interesting place to work.
Peter Bell: Thank you, Paul. I think you just answered a bunch of questions for me and opened up many more new ones. What a great conversation. I hope your travels to site go smoothly and your time there is productive. I look forward to talking with you again!
Paul Angus: You're welcome, Peter. It was great speaking with you. Goodbye.
Please note that Peter "@Newton" Bell has been compensated by the company to prepare and distribute this material. The company has reviewed these materials prior to publication.
This document contains 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.