"There's a new thing I don't know much about, a discovery by Erdene in Mongolia," Cook said on his way to the Erdene booth to look over drillcore from Erdene's latest gold discovery in Mongolia, the Bayan Khundii gold project.
"Really interesting results. I'm going to learn what I can."
Erdene President and CEO Peter Akerley walked him through the project and Cook was clearly impressed by the grades and potential.
"I'm looking at it. These are good hits from surface," Cook said.
Akerley described Bayan Khundii to Cook, noting they had found gold mineralization along at least 500 metres of strike, with cross-cutting zones, in an epithermal system starting at surface. Meantime, gold grades are strong often in the 2-g/t-Au range, over broad widths.
"So generally what you see here that main vein is about 150 g/t Au over a metre and either side of that you're getting two to 10 gram (Au) material over maybe a 10-metre width," Akerley said.
"And then it's petering out to 0.1 to 1 gram material and you end up with this 25 to 30 metre section. But as you can see, with the amount of drilling we've done, we don't know how big it is because we haven't pushed these holes deep enough yet."
Indeed, Akerley said Bayan Khundii stands as the most interesting gold project he'd walked over in his career.
"I've never seen so much visible gold at surface in my career," he said. "It's just quartz vein-related material sitting at surface." He added, "In about 10 minutes you could walk out there and pick up VG. It's spectacular."
Cook found the tenor of gold impressive too, concluding that it was an interesting discovery.
"Like the grade," he said
Cook wondered at the remoteness of the project and what size of project Akerley thought Erdene needed to get the interest of a major. Akerley said the project wasn't as remote as you might think, with rail nearby at the Chinese border and a mining district already esablished in southern Mongolia. As for target size for a major, he put that in the two- to three-million-ounce-gold range at grades around 2-3 g/t Au.
And as Erdene looks to bolster the Bayan Khundii discovery pulling in new zones on a target rich property - Akerley highlighted the potential to outline a smaller, less capex intensive, mining scenario around Erdene's existing resources and discoveries. About 20 kilometres north, Erdene is also exploring the Altan Nar gold discovery, where it has outlined resources of 147,000 ounces gold @ 2.5 g/t AuEq, indicated, and 102,000 ounces @ 2.1 g/t AuEq, inferred.
That path to near-term production rings well with some investors as a measure to move toward a cash flowing company while driving forward resource growth. If it isn't Cook's favourite model - and he said so - it didn't shake him off.
"But the deposit itself, the mineralization looks quite interesting," Cook concluded. "I'll probably look at it in a bit more detail."
Erdene Resources (ERD-V)
Main assets: Exploration projects in Mongolia, including 100% owned gold projects Altan Nar and Bayan Khundii, and JVs with majors on base metal projects.
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