Abacus Mining & Exploration Corp. (TSX-V: AME)(OTC: ABCFF) CEO Paul Anderson on Drilling at Jersey Valley Gold Project in Nevada
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the president and newly appointed CEO of Abacus Mining & Exploration, Mr. Paul Anderson. Paul, how are you this morning?
Paul Anderson: I'm very well, thank you. How about yourself?
Gerardo Del Real: I am well. I am warmer. It's sunny outside. Power has come back to Texas. Water has come back to Texas. So yes, doing well, Paul. Thank you so much for asking. Congrats on the appointment. I understand that Michael, Michael McInnis will remain as executive chairman as he has been. But congrats on the appointment on your end.
Paul Anderson: Well, thanks very much. It's a housekeeping item on our end. I've been president and COO for about three years now. We really haven't had a CEO. I've been functioning as a CEO, when we just decided it just made sense to formalize that. As you say, Mike and I have a fairly long history of working together with several companies and Mike still stays on as executive chair. We tend to chat at least several times a week. We stay in pretty close contact, but yeah. So I'm now president and CEO, so that's good.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. And listen, obviously with copper at $4.07 a pound and likely headed higher, there's a lot to talk about in regards to Ajax and to Willow. And I want to get to that in a separate conversation because I really do believe that each of those projects deserves a separate conversation going over the merits of each. For today's conversation I would love to get an update on drilling at the Jersey Valley gold project in Nevada. I understand a rig is on site and drilling is imminent. Can you tell me a bit about the targets? And frankly, this is over a year or two in the making, exciting times.
Paul Anderson: It is exciting times. I think it's a good idea to talk about our copper projects, Ajax and Willow, probably in a separate conversation. That would be good. Today we'll focus on our gold project. So we picked up Jersey Valley about a year and a half ago from a private company based in Utah and Nevada. It's a project that's had past work on it. People have looked for gold and silver on it. The past work was teasing what was there. When we had a look at the project and just before we picked it up, it was evident that it's an epithermal gold system, gold and silver system. There's certainly quite a lot of gold and silver kicking around the system. Some of the drill holes that were done in the past were not entirely economic, but there's certainly a lot of good mineralization on the property.
So the long and short of it is, is that the project is made up of basin and range, so the valley and the hills beside. So the hills are a group of sediments and intrusives. There's some skarn mineralization, which is similar to some of the big porphyry skarn deposits in the general Battle Mountain area. The biggest is the Phoenix Fortitude area owned by Newmont. And they've got about 14 million ounces of gold with significant copper and silver. They've got a mine life up to the 2060s somewhere. It's quite a large deposit. Nearby that is Cove-McCoy with about 3.4 million ounces gold, past production and current reserves. And it's within a belt that's quite well endowed in both gold and silver. So, we were quite interested to get in there. Now the previous operator, about 15 years ago, did a little bit of drilling up in the hills, had some success, but nothing really that looked like it could be followed up.
They then did an IP geophysical survey out on the flats of the valley. So there's a center zone out there, which basically, it's a hot springs activity. Hot fluids come up and they deposit this silica Sinter and it forms a flat line terrace, right on surface or right below surface. Pretty good indicator that there's hot springs activity in the area. In fact, there's a geothermal plant on our claims that have been developed on those hot springs, in the last 10 years or so, since the last work was done on the property. So the previous operator did four lines of IP geophysics, and then they drilled four drill holes and they got some interesting looking rocks, good alteration, gold and silver throughout the holes. And it seemed like the gold and silver values were getting a little bit better towards the end of the holes.
So, we thought that maybe they hadn't drilled deep enough. So we went in and we've basically expanded that geophysical survey and we've come up with quite a number of targets. We've come up with four or five trends of targets. And within those trends, there's 44, 45 separate anomalies. So there's quite a few targets. The other thing that was evidenced once we re-did the geophysics or did the new geophysics, was that some of the old drilling was not really well oriented I guess. Some of the drilling basically just nicked the edge of some of these geophysical anomalies, but they still got values in it. So, we're quite hopeful that there's actually something there that we can chase. We just need to do a bit more drilling and try to get centered in on where we should be targeting.
So I mentioned these various targets. The two main targets, one is about 900 meters long. The other one's about 700 meters long. And they're both open really in both directions. So we still have room to expand those. If we get some joy in this particular program, we could expand those anomalies out and see where they go. But for the time being, we've set up four drill holes to test what looks like the best geophysical anomalies. Each of the drill holes are fairly steeply oriented. So not quite vertical holes, but fairly close in some cases. And for the most part, we're going down about 300 meters or so. So we're getting down below what people looked at before.
So I mentioned some of the values that we're seeing in some of the old drilling. There was one drill hole that had 0.2 grams per tonne gold over 13.4 meters right at the end of the hole. There was another hole that had about a one and a half grams over about one and a half meters, again, right at the end of the hole. And then there was a third drill that had 0.18 grams per tonne gold and two, almost three grams per tonne silver over almost 30 meters. And again, right at the end of the hole.
So, each of those values by themselves are not economic, except the 1.58 grams per tonne gold value, but they're certainly really highly anomalous. And if you couple that with some of the chemistry you can see in the holes, you see all the right elements that you should be seeing in these sort of systems, and it tells you a story. And so, the idea this time around is to go a little bit deeper, try to get a better cut on some of these anomalies and see what's there. And so the program has just started, basically just got going last week. So that's the long and the short of it for Jersey Valley.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. And I understand, Paul, that the contract, the initial contract anyhow, is for approximately 1,100 meters for those four holes. Is that correct?
Paul Anderson: Yeah, roughly. We're doing 250 to 300 meters in each of the holes and so it's for a minimum of 1,100. If we see something in the drill hole, when it gets down to depth, I mean, we would keep it going for a little while. So we do have that option at least.
Gerardo Del Real: You have a tiny market cap of sub $11 million Canadian. I could justify the market cap just with this project. I could justify the market cap if all you had was Willow. I could justify a much higher market cap, and don't even get me going on Ajax because that's a whole different conversation, right? Obviously a discovery of significance here is going to lead to a pretty rapid rerating. How long do you anticipate before you get assays back from Jersey Valley?
Paul Anderson: Realistically, it's going to be at least the end of March, maybe early April. We've got a couple of guys on site. They actually have to get the core out of the hole, log it. So describe it in some fashion and then get it cut, and then into the labs. Recently, the labs have been a bit backed up and of course, a lot of people are ramping up projects at this timeframe. And the labs, at least last year, were backed up for a couple of months in some cases. We're hoping that's not going to be the case this time, but once it goes into the lab, we don't have a lot of control over it. We have to wait for them to do their thing. So, but realistically, I just want people to be realistic in terms of when we're going to see some numbers back. And I would say end of March, early April, that's what we're shooting for. It could be a little bit longer than that.
Gerardo Del Real: Sure. Sure. Paul, I want to thank you for the update. I want to have you back. Hopefully we can do this again next week. I really want to talk about Willow, which sounds like there's potential there to drill that this year. And then of course, we can have a deeper conversation about Ajax and the potential there. It seems like things are moving in the right direction on that front as well. And that is pretty consequential again, given that copper is where it is and given the robust resource base there, right?
Paul Anderson: Yes, absolutely. We're still quite excited about Ajax, the potential there. Our partner's moving forward, seems to be making some progress. It is a slow process, of course. Willow of course... You've been on the property at Willow. It's a nice property. It's a big target and it's in a camp with a lot of copper. So, we're quite hopeful with that project as well. So, if we get a hit on either Jersey Valley or Willow, we'd be quite happy. Hopefully on both. And then, Ajax is our major project in the background there. So I'm happy to talk to you anytime about the copper space, and we should try to do that when we're both able to.
Gerardo Del Real: Fantastic. Let's plan it for next week, Paul. Thank you so much.
Paul Anderson: Sounds good. Thanks. Thanks very much. I appreciate talking to you.
Gerardo Del Real: Stay safe out there.
Paul Anderson: Okay. You too.
Gerardo Del Real: Thank you.