Aben Resources (TSX-V: ABN) CEO Jim Pettit on Drilling at the Forrest Kerr Gold Project in BC's Golden Triangle: “We're Here for the High-Grade, That's What We Want”
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the President and CEO of Aben Resources (TSX-V: ABN)(OTC: ABNAF), Mr Jim Pettit. Jim, how the heck are you today?
Jim Pettit: I'm good. Really good. Had a whole weekend to relax and catch up from the previous week up at the site.
Gerardo Del Real: Let's talk about how things are coming along at the site. You had some news a little less than a week ago. Let's be clear, the market is looking for high-grade results from Forrest Kerr. We got some assays that had long intervals of lower grade mineralization. There wasn't any of the blockbuster type, high-grade headline numbers that the market was hoping for, in the beginning, so far. And so obviously, the stock sold off a bit.
I wanted to get your take on the results that have come in and then what's to come here, because the program obviously is far from over. You and I joked off the record that you've started a couple of these seasons off with some spectacular numbers early on, and obviously, that's not been the case thus far. But there's a lot of exploration left.
Can we talk about Forrest Kerr, and then get that brief update on Justin as well?
Jim Pettit: Oh sure. Yeah, as you stated, we were just chatting about the last couple of years, or the last two seasons, we started the season with some pretty blockbuster results. We always hope we hit high grade. We happened to hit very high grade those two years. This time we thought we were onto something, especially as reported Hole 51 had high levels of chalcopyrite in it. We felt that the gold would show there, because that was the correlation in the past drilling. We did hit lots of chalcopyrite last year, in the South Boundary Zone. It did not have the high grades. And we are south of the North Boundary Zone. What we just reported, was in and around that Noranda hole, which is about 200 to 250 meters south of the North Boundary Zone.
We just stepped a little bit to the east and south of that, in a big zone, we call it the sericite zone, and that's the alteration you want. Something happened. We didn't have the gold with the chalco as we expected, but we still had it there. Those three holes that were reported, yes there were very broad intersections of low grade, what looks like bulk tonnage type material.
We're here for high grade, that's what we want. And that's what the market definitely wants. So yeah, that was a bit of a disappointment, but it's not always about what you do know. Sometimes it's what you don't know.
Gerardo Del Real: Absolutely.
Jim Pettit: What we got there was something that was a bit of a surprise to us, but that's all being analyzed. We've still got a number of holes that are coming out of that immediate zone. That's going to give us a lot more info when we get the analytics back, which I expect might be – well when I was up there last week, they said it'll probably be two weeks for the next batch to come. So that'd be maybe around the 7th of September, I don't know.
But now we've moved on. We're utilizing the geophysics in a much broader way now. There's lots of what we interpret as intrusions. We want to see that, because what we can correlate is where we've hit high grade, and where the Noranda hole hit high grade, they're on these little folds, these little intrusives that look like folds. And then there's some big intrusions that stick out very bold, as we move south.
So, we're testing those. Actually tried to drill them kind of obliquely sort of, you don't want to go right into them necessarily. You want to go along the sides of them. That's where you would get any kind of substantial mineralization. So, that's what we're doing. We are heading further south. The guys had generated new targets for us last year as we head south.
I've been asked a few times, why aren't you drilling in the North Boundary Zone? Well, we put over 30 holes in it last year. It's pretty much baked, and we know what it is. That zone, that high-grade zone, it's there. It's not going away. As we moved away from it, you get into that lower grade bulk tonnage style. It's relatively, what would you call it? Discontinuous, I guess.
So, we're looking for more. And ultimately, what you want to find in this whole Boundary Zone is the sources, the feeders, these conduits, and try to find some of the bigger faults that run through there off the Kerr fault. Because it's been called complex over the years. But that's what you're faced with. There's lots there. There's lots going on. And with the amount of the money we've had this year and over the last few years, and then a lot of money available to the Golden Triangle in general.
It allows us to do more detailed exploration work. And that's what we're working on right now. We've got some areas there that look like really good potential zones for bigger discoveries, bigger areas that are looking to be a little bit more continuous. That's what we're working on.
Gerardo Del Real: Just to be clear, you're working on finding feeder zones that are the source of the high grade. You're not really interested in the bulk tonnage, lower grade material that all know is tough to make economic in that part of the world. Correct?
Jim Pettit: Well, it'd have to be awfully big.
Gerardo Del Real: Right.
Jim Pettit: Yeah. We're looking for the high-grade stuff. We know we're still in an epithermal zone here. This is all like hydrothermal. We're not into porphyries. There is the idea floating around, that if we went deeper we could well be hitting porphyries. That's not unusual for that whole neck of the woods. And some of the really successful deposits in the world are epithermal sitting on top of porphyry systems. So, you never know.
We're thinking right now, we are pretty entrenched in the hydrothermal system, that's the sponsor of a lot of the really high-grade gold. So, there's lots more to do. We're probably on hole, right now, 14. Looking like we'll probably get – some of the holes are longer than we've done in the past, and that's because of the geophysics – but we'll probably get up to 21 to 24 holes for the season. It's going well.
Gerardo Del Real: Perfect. Well it's a credit to your team that you are exploring for, frankly, what shareholders wrote a check for you to go to explore for, which was the high grade. Right? Too often in the junior space, us shareholders write a check. The check is written for a very specific reason. Mother nature being how mother nature can be, sometimes you don't find what you're looking for. That's usually the rule, not the exception.
And so many times junior resource companies change and pivot. And all of a sudden, we funded a program that we didn't fund. Right? So kudos to you for sticking to what the main premise was and what you're looking for. You're either going to find it or you're not, but at the very least you're giving yourself the best chance of hitting those feeder zones that you're looking for. So, kudos to them guys.
Let's talk Justin, you also had some assays there in the same release.
Jim Pettit: Yep. Well yeah, we did get the results back like the day before on Justin from the second lab. There was a bit of a disappointment there, with the diamond drilling. We go through the exact same stratigraphy that we did in 2012, and we hit it. We hit the sulfide zone, we crossed a contact, and we did hit gold. And in this particular case, the guys, I guess they just didn't believe the assay lab, because there was no way that we could go through those same zones that were carrying gold, not very far away. And so, we sent it off to another lab, and came back confirming the original lab, and everyone's shaking their heads there. And then the RAB drilling, which I guess in a perfect world should have been better than it was, but we were dealing with a lot of water near the surface.
That type of drilling is not real conducive to being wet. It's kind of like percussion drilling or rotary drilling as you want it dry, because it pulverizes instead of a nice solid core. And in this case if it gets wet, a lot of the heavy elements sift to the bottom. So you don't get a representative sample. It was difficult, but at this point, it is what it is. We can't do anything about it. So, I just found that whole thing a real disappointment.
Fortunately, I raised separate dollars for it, and the money that we raised for Forrest Kerr didn't get used up there. But, you don't always win. It doesn't mean it's over either, but it is what it is. You gotta take the good with the bad sometimes.
Gerardo Del Real: Nature of the beast. So more assays coming from Forrest Kerr. We're hoping, of course, to hit some of the high-grade zones that we've seen in the past, and more of it in a continuous way. Anything else you want to add, Jim?
Jim Pettit: No, for now that's good. I think it might be a couple of weeks we get more assays coming, and I think this next round of assays will be more holes in the same area. Because there's a couple of holes there that we did off the same pad, because we liked what we saw. So you do a fan, a vertical fan.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. Excellent. Well, I look forward to having you back on when those assays come in. Jim, thank you for taking the time and explaining everything to everybody.
Jim Pettit: You bet. Thanks, Gerardo.
Gerardo Del Real: All right, you have a good one.
Jim Pettit: Okay.