Almaden Minerals (TSX: AMM)(NYSE: AAU) Hits More High Grade Mineralization Inside & Outside the PEA Pit, Including 15.8 Meters of 4.31 g/t Gold
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is president and CEO of Almaden Minerals (TSX: AMM)(NYSE: AAU) Dr. Morgan Poliquin. Morgan, how are you this afternoon?
Morgan Poliquin: Hi, I'm great, thanks Gerardo. Thanks for having me back on.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, anytime that Almaden reports drill results I like to have you on because they're usually good, so I'll read the latest headline and then I'll let you comment on it. It says, "Almaden drills further new high grade mineralization within and outside amended PEA pit. Hit's 15.8 meters of 4.31 grams per tonne gold, 98 grams per tonne silver, and 14.2 meters of 3.08 grams per tonn gold and 161.2 grams per tonn silver." Fantastic numbers Morgan, what can you share?
Morgan Poliquin: Yeah, thanks so much. I always like to remind people of the context and the context is that this is a discovery that was made in 2010. We've had a terrible market since really the discovery, and we've been focused on resource drilling around the initial deposit that was found with the first hole. What we have found subsequent to developing a resource and producing a PEA on the resource and soon a PFS, is that there are zones that were not well drilled where we had some very interesting signals that there was additional mineralization. That's the backdrop to this and we're finally back to testing some of these areas and we are hitting close to the known mineralization, what we think are either new zones or extensions of existing zones, but essentially mineralization where previously we had not defined these sorts of grades. It's very exciting, I think it just is indicative of the early stage, really of the exploration history of Ixtaca and the potential we have in that project to find additional resources and perhaps even brand new zones. We think there's regional targets that we have yet to drill as well.
Gerardo Del Real: Wonderful, now you mentioned context, and I agree that context is important and for those that haven't been to the property or are not familiar with it, can you share with us just how much of the property has been explored?
Morgan Poliquin: Yeah, we've got a very large alteration zone that is entirely contained within our claim. The alteration is about five by five kilometers. And what I mean by alteration is where the rocks have been affected by the hot fluids, by the geothermal fluids, that brought in the gold and the silver. What we see is a large area that's affected by the right kind of processes. What happened for us with the Ixtaca discovery initially is it's blind, we call it, meaning the veins are underneath this blanket of alteration, clay alteration and aren't exposed at surface.
You have to fish around if you like and we got very lucky, we feel, by hitting on the very first hole of the program in 2010. We've got that kind of a footprint, a five by five kilometer area to explore and we think that we have lots of indications whether it be soil samples or other things that are suggesting there's some very good targets to chase up. The basic philosophy is that, why would you discover the best thing with the first hole, why would you discover the only thing? We think these types of deposits come in clusters and while it could be that the zone we have will prove to be the only one, we think that would be unusual. We think that there's absolutely excellent chance of making additional discoveries.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent, excellent. Lastly I want to touch on briefly is, I know that you are nearing completion of the pre-feasibility work. Can you talk to us and give us an update on where that is?
Morgan Poliquin: Yeah, well, the big gorilla on the stage is obviously the metal appraises which have changed quite a lot in US dollar terms over the last few weeks and months, but happily, we did a PEA at $1,150 gold and $16 silver so I think the market well understands the project at a range of metal prices now. We've essentially completed the technical work that goes into the pre-feasibility study which is very detailed and we're into the final stages of deciding on the exact mine plan and those sorts of things, which, it's all the background ... The detailed metallurgy, the geo-mechanical and geo-technical drilling, all these different types of work, which are really the heavy lifting that go into the study and all that work's complete.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. Morgan, thank you very much for coming on. I look forward to having you back on as soon as we hear further essays. Drilling is ongoing, I imagine.
Morgan Poliquin: Drilling is ongoing and it's discretionary spending, obviously, but we have every reason technically and geologically to keep that drilling going for the foreseeable future.
Gerardo Del Real: Fantastic. Morgan, thanks again for your time.
Morgan Poliquin: Thank you.