Aben Resources (TSX-V: ABN) CEO Jim Pettit on Summer Drill Program at Forrest Kerr Gold Project in BC’s Golden Triangle
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is President and CEO of Aben Resources (TSX-V: ABN)(OTC: ABNAF), Mr. Jim Pettit. Jim, how are you this afternoon?
Jim Pettit: I'm great. I couldn't feel better going into a long weekend.
Gerardo Del Real: Yes, sir. I couldn't agree more. It's that time of the year where drilling at the Golden Triangle region heats up. Aben is no exception. Drills are now, or I should say a drill is now turning at the Boundary North Zone discovery at the 23,000-hectare Forrest Kerr Gold Project. This follows up, obviously, some very successful and exciting drilling last year. Can you talk about the plan, what it looks like? And I'd like to touch on some of the results from last year because you got some pretty, pretty solid hits that you're following up this year.
Jim Pettit: Yeah. That's a good place to start, a little refresher. Last year we drilled three holes out of nine. The fourth, fifth, and sixth holes were off of one drill pad at three different angles; 45, 60, and 75. And we encountered a very high-grade zone right off the bat, actually, at 16 meters deep. It was basically found by our Geos as a surface anomaly. They took samples off the surface, there was high-grade kicks of gold in especially the rock samples, there was up to 50 grams gold.
So the idea was to move, take the pad, move it to the north of it, and drill at basically a right angle to some old historic drilling that was done by Noranda years ago where they hit a really high-grade intersection, but really didn't follow up on it. So the way we orientated these holes was basically to get the broadest swath we could through that zone. And what we're finding now is that these surface anomalies are definitely being confirmed.
So what we got here in the first hole, it started with about a 3-meter intersection of 18, almost 19 grams, and 2.2% percent copper, and 17 gram silver. In the second, well the second hole on that drill pad, which was hole five. We got 6 meters of 21.5 grams gold, 28.5 grams silver, and 3.1% copper. These were all in very broad intersections of mineralization. And then the third hole was a little lower grade, but a little steeper angle, too. But you still got 3 grams gold, 5 grams silver, and 0.6% copper.
What it tells us is there's a very broad zone there. All these little high-grade zones, I call them little, but comparatively speaking they were within a very broad zone. The first hole basically that I just mentioned, was within a very broad intersection of 387 meters of 0.25 gram. But it was well mineralized throughout, so we could stretch it that far. Below that was 100 meters of lower grade, with the high-grade core. The same with the third hole that I just mentioned.
So we're into a very broad zone. Obviously we want to come back and start there because we want to see how big this zone is, how far we can extend it on strike to the northeast and southwest. So that's basically where we've started, and we started drilling just the other day, two days ago.
Gerardo Del Real: Perfect. And I understand that the program will encompass a 5,000-meter program of diamond drilling. Is that correct?
Jim Pettit: Yep. We're planning up to, at this stage anyways, up to 5,000 meters. That could get us anywhere from 15 to 20 holes, depending on the depth. But in this area, we're encountering it fairly shallow, so we could probably get more holes. And I think also, if we have success, and I'm pretty confident at the beginning of the program, cause we're just trying to extend. We're stepping out. We're doing step-out holes right now. If it goes the way I'm hoping, I think we may be able to come back to the market at much higher prices and carry on from there. And we can extend our season and the amount of drilling we're going to do.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. You know, I've been on record saying that anomalies in the resources space are like Pokemon's, right? They're everywhere.
Jim Pettit: Yup.
Gerardo Del Real: So anytime that I see mention of anomalies, I tend to dismiss it, but I like to dig a little deeper. You however have followed up a lot of those anomalies with significant mineralization. And the Boundary Zone has, I believe, rock and soil anomalies that span in excess of, I think it's 2 kilometers by 4 kilometers with some pretty significant values. I normally do not like to talk about anomalies, I will make the exception because one, you've proven that they tend to lead to good mineralization. And two, some of the numbers that these things are returning are pretty, pretty impressive.
Jim Pettit: Yeah, they are. Well, like the historic hole that brought us to the area. That was actually 11 meters of 33 grams.
Gerardo Del Real: Right.
Jim Pettit: So 11 meters of 1 ounce is pretty good. But no follow-up. So last year we encountered this, and that was a hard one to replicate. You know, because some of these little hydrothermal veins are very small. So what we're realizing is it was probably when they put it into the data base at 11 meters of 33 grams, it was probably about half a meter of 300 grams. You know, something like that. So hard to replicate, but it put us in the right area. And that whole area, and it is 2 kilometers by 4 kilometers roughly. There's lots of them.
We've mapped them, taken the samples. We had the fortunate, well we were very fortunate in that the whole project, the whole property, came with a lot of data, historic data from 10, 20 and 30 years ago. And a lot of it was surface sampling. So we could zero in on some of these high-grade surface samples, which we call anomalies, and do our own to confirm it, because some of them are very old, and go from there.
So that whole area we're talking about is primarily gold-silver-copper anomalies. And a lot of them need to be tested cause a lot of them have, when you get lucky enough to get the good outcrop, and you get rock samples that are 30 to 50 gram range, you want to follow up. And if there's lots of other lower grade around it, you're on to something, and there's lots of that. And some of this area has also had geophysics to substantiate the surface work.
Gerardo Del Real: Good, good, good. What's the treasury look like? You talked about if you have early success possibly coming back to the market and raising money at higher prices, but I don't believe you have to do that, right? You're pretty well funded right now.
Jim Pettit: We don't have to that, no. What we're planning, we're funded for it. The drill program is probably about $1.6 million. We've got $3 million in the treasury, we're in good shape. We've managed to operate up there with a relatively good cost base, because of the new infrastructure that's there. We've just moved our camp to a closer location to where we're drilling, so the helicopter support is going to be, we'll probably save $100,000 dollars alone just on that.
But yeah. We're in good shape, we're in good shape. I've also got a couple hundred thousand dollars I want to spend up in the Yukon on another project. So you know, that's all good. But I'm hoping, with success, that we could raise more and then I could bring in another drill to do more reconnaissance drilling as we keep doing this.
Gerardo Del Real: Well you got a good solid share structure, I believe it's just under 80 million shares issued and outstanding, is that correct, Jim?
Jim Pettit: That's right.
Gerardo Del Real: Perfect. And like I mentioned at the top here, I believe we're going to get a lot of news out of the Golden Triangle this summer. I can't help but notice that GT Gold was recently up about 16-17% on some pretty solid volume. And I believe they just started drilling, so it should be a fun couple of months, Jim.
Jim Pettit: Yup, yeah. Well they did. They just started drilling the day before us. Or the announcement came out anyway. Their stock happens to be up 12-13 cents today. You know, that's a bigger project, they're about two years ahead of us, but it's a good indication when the stocks respond like that. We're actually trading well. We're trading about a half a million shares a day on the various platforms. And the stock in the last couple months has moved from $0.10 to $0.22 in good solid volume. So it's rolled over that float, that cheaper float.
And if it's anything like last year, I think once this whole area starts going, because right now, there's only two or three of us drilling. In another month there'll be probably 10 or 12, and then the labs start getting backed up. So our timing this year is a lot better. We're in earlier, we can get assays into the lab quicker, the turnaround is quicker, and hopefully demonstrate success.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, Jim, I'd love to have you back on once those assays start coming in. Again, excited for the drill program. I know the junior resources space is a tough space, especially over the summer. But frankly, there's a lot of quality exploration work going on out there, and I think it should be an interesting summer this year, exploration wise.
Jim Pettit: Yeah, it is. I think it will be. Oddly enough, all the work’s done in the summer but the markets go soft.
Gerardo Del Real: There ya go.
Jim Pettit: But when you have a specialized area play like this, it's actually very focused and you do tremendous volumes. You do. Rather than the broad base being slow. You've got, this area is, like the last two years has been one of a kind.
Gerardo Del Real: Well it's good to hear the phone ringing in the background, it's always not a good thing if you're drilling and it's quiet, Jim. So thank you so much for coming on.
Jim Pettit: Yeah.
Gerardo Del Real: And again, I can't wait to have you back when the first set of assays start coming out.
Jim Pettit: Alright. Thank you very much.
Gerardo Del Real: Thank you.