Aben Resources (TSX-V: ABN) CEO Jim Pettit Gives an Update on the Recently Completed Drill Program at the Justin Project & the Commencement of Drilling at the Forrest Kerr Project
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the CEO of Aben Resources (TSX-V: ABN)(OTC: ABNAF), Mr. Jim Pettit. Jim, how are you today, sir?
Jim Pettit: I'm great. It's Friday.
Gerardo Del Real: It is Friday. Thanks for coming on. I know you had a heck of an interesting morning there and with gold holding up at $1,400 – I believe it's trading at $1,410 the last I checked – you were able to do what the better companies always do. I stand corrected, it's up to $1,416.
But you were able to do what the better companies always do. You raised cash, you went and got some very attractive properties. You brought them into the company and now you're obviously able to take advantage of what I think is a new gold bull market. You just got done drilling at one property and started drilling seamlessly on the second. Can we talk about how things are going on that front, Jim?
Jim Pettit: Sure, absolutely. We just finished drilling on the Justin project, which is up in the Yukon on the very southeast corner of the Yukon basically. That went flawlessly. We drilled some diamond drill holes, four or five of them. I think the fifth one had a little water damage, we hit artisanal water. But you know, we got what we needed out of it. Then we did 17 rotary air blast holes, which is kind of like the next step from trenching, and they're not much deeper than 35 meters, and that was for a reason. I mean that was what we call the Lost Ace Zone, which is a much older lithology rock formation, gave us surface gold, coarse gold. So we want to just tap into it and see what we're looking at and I think that's going to come out very successful, give us some good indications.
But then the diamond drilling we did is on the POW zone, which was older. We had drilled that back in 2011 and '12. We've had it ever since. Back then we had discovered through drilling it's an intrusion-related gold system, which quite often is lower grade potential for bulk tonnage. This intrusion is exposed at surface as a skarn and so we were drilling around the edge of this skarn and and this year I think confirmed what we were looking for. But we were waiting for assays to really give us the idea if our theory means anything, because we did this thinking that the two systems are side by side. I'm sure the the intrusion system, the POW zone, it's younger and it may have influenced the older system beside us and we could have some over-printing, which means some remobilization of gold from the older system into the younger intrusion system.
Gerardo Del Real: Got it.
Jim Pettit: And it's called over-printing and it would be nice to see if we're right about it. You know, either way we end up with two systems, even if they don't. But we would like to see if that's worked in this particular case, because they're side by side and quite often, as you get away from an intrusion system, you do get fracturing in the country rock and you could have that remobilization happening. Because the Lost Ace is called orogenic, it's very coarse gold and it's much, much older. So, you know, we've got our fingers crossed, we should have assays coming in over the next couple of weeks.
Gerardo DelReal: Excellent.
Jim Pettit: And I think the start of them should be next week. I'm hoping, I'm just hopeful about it.
Gerardo Del Real: Good, good one, definitely looking forward to that. That's exciting. And not to cut you off, Jim, but I definitely want to remind everybody that you have still over $5 million in the treasury, which leads me to Forrest Kerr, of course, right? And the program there, which is following up that spectacular hit last time, which I believe was something like 39 grams per tonne over 10 meters, 38.7 if I remember clearly, right?
Jim Pettit: Yeah, yup, yup, yup. Oh yeah, we did a lot last year. We accomplished a heck of a lot, including raising the money during the drill program, which got us to where we are this year without having to raise more and dilute farther, which is a really great position to be in and then also bringing in a guy like Eric Sprott. He's now the biggest shareholder we have, because he did a big chunk of that.
Gerardo Del Real: Eric's been active. Yeah, he's been active. He's the writing on the wall as far as the market that's setting up.
Jim Pettit: Well, he's also now the biggest shareholder of Golden Predator who is our neighbor in the Yukon, with the 3 Aces. But going forward now, we're now drilling. I believe we're on our second hole at the Golden Triangle, the Forrest Kerr project, and that's going smoothly so far. No problems and the weather's been good. We're looking to do a minimum 5,000 meters drilling. If we have success along the way like last year we can extend that to 10,000 meters or whatever's required. The off season was really good for us because we managed to 3D model everything, the 45 holes that we now have in what we call the North Boundary Zone. It's given us a pretty good, well, it's a new picture, something we hadn't seen before. So we've got areas we're working on right now back in that North Boundary Zone, trying to find if we can link together that old Noranda hole to the south of us.
Gerardo Del Real: Which was 306 grams a tonne for those that aren't familiar, right?
Jim Pettit: Yeah, well, and it's only 200 meters, 250 meters to the south of the North Boundary Zone where we really concentrated a lot of drilling last year and if we can get some connectivity there. Then going north of the North Boundary Zone, we've got an area just to the north of us we're going to test, too, and that doesn't take a whole lot of new pads. Then once we've finished there we're going to head south to the South Boundary Zone. We always thought we'd just kind of tagged the side of something, we'd run on the edge of it and we're going to go in there and we've got that modeled and we've got a geophysical program that we've completed a month or so ago and we've got all that data now that we're looking at. It's given us some pictures of deep-seated structures and they're in and around that area is very helpful.
Plus with the 3D we did down in the South Boundary Zone I think we can spend a little time there with a couple of new pads and really hit it hard. But then we've also got a bigger field crew, who are moving ahead of the drill program, heading south there based on our geophysical survey. They're going in and redoing some of the geochem sampling to see if there's more there that we can glean out of it. So you have a coincidental geochemical target as well as a geophysical target. That'll lead us further south in the boundary zone and then at the end of the season we hope to end up at that, if you go to our website you can see this target we've always known is down there, but we'd so busy on the boundary zone, we would like to at least get a drill down there towards the end of the season and put some holes through that anomaly that we don't really understand what it is, but it's surrounded by really good geochem gold samples.
Gerardo Del Real: You also have approval for 45 more drill pad locations, right? I mean you were somewhat limited in 2018.
Jim Pettit: Oh yeah, we had nine and they didn't issue any more last year and we should have had those other 44 locations last year. But they withheld everything because of the fires that were going on up there, and this year we're hoping it's wetter. It's nice to have rain every three or four days. Last year I don't think we had more than one day of rain, so eventually the fires, you get some dry clouds come through and then you get dry lightning strikes and they cause fires. And that was a problem last year. One of the main towns where a lot of our work crews are from, the local native community, they lost a third of the town.
Gerardo Del Real: Wow, wow.
Jim Pettit: So this year, so far it's been wetter. We haven't lost any time yet because what happens when you get crummy weather is you lose helicopter time, you can't get in the air to get the crews in and out and we can't move crews around, that sort of thing. We need helicopter time.
Gerardo Del Real: Good stuff, Jim.
Jim Pettit: So far it's a good year for us. It looks like we're off to a really good start.
Gerardo Del Real: Good, good, good, good. So assays pending on Justin, drills turning at Forrest Kerr, you're cashed up, you got a supportive gold price. It should be a fun second half of the year. I get the sense that you and I will be chatting here over the coming weeks as assay start trickling in. Is there anything else you want to add, Jim?
Jim Pettit: No, I think that's it. I think other than the fact that we've got a really good macro gold market. That really helps, that starts to broaden our market base actually. The fan base out there is really, really quite something.
Gerardo Del Real: It's a long time coming. I think we've all earned ourselves a new gold bull market and I look forward to the good stuff that comes with that, right? We took the hit and took the pain. I think it's better days ahead for sure.
Jim Pettit: It's nice to be right once every however many years.
Gerardo Del Real: Seven, eight, nine years.
Awesome. Well, thanks for coming on, Jim. Let's chat in a couple of weeks. I'll follow up and we'll catch up then. Thanks again.
Jim Pettit: All right. Thanks, Gerardo.
Gerardo Del Real: All right, bye now.
Jim Pettit: Bye, bye.