Aben Resources (TSX-V: ABN) CEO Jim Pettit on Getting Back to Work Drilling at the 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 the President and CEO of Aben Resources (TSX-V: ABN)(OTC: ABNAF), Mr. Jim Pettit. Jim, good to have you back on. How are you?
Jim Pettit: Thank you very much. I'm doing great.
Gerardo Del Real: I suspect you're busy.
Jim Pettit: To say the least. Yeah, we're really busy. We took a little time getting the drill ready, but we've got some tremendous targets and the drills turning now, we're there. I would recommend people go to the website and the news release, you can click on it and see a new map we've put up and you can see where the drill pads are located. It's just got one hole off of each, but I think there'll be more than one hole off of each one of those.
They're tapping into a formation that seems to be on the west side of the fault, the Nelson Creek fault. On the map it's clearly defined. We've only had one hole in three or four years that's got through that fault and shows mineralization on the west side. It just so happens our field crew came up with some tremendous rock samples from outcrop, right above it. Where you get the 20 meters at the bottom of that hole, that is all mineralized, 110 meters or 120 meters straight up to the surface that whole area is heavily mineralized.
Basically by that, I'm talking 10 to 43 gram gold samples, that's the range. 29 to, I think it's 46 grams silver, and 1.3% to 4.6% copper. That's on surface. Then directly below it we've got this downhole mineralization that shows up. That to me tells me that you got to drill there. That's how we found the North Boundary high-grade zone. It was from outcrop, we drilled under it. That's where we came up with those tremendously high grades of 38.7 grams gold over 10 meters and three other intersections in that one hole that was really quite stellar.
We're onto something and we've married the geophysics, the MAG survey with our existing drill logs because we drilled 70 holes on the other side, on the east side of the Nelson Creek fault. These will be the first series of holes from the other side, from the west side, which was thought to be cut off. To us now it's looking like it's displaced. So, it's slip faulted. We've got the core from last year, that one hole that got into that zone. It's the same, the alteration mineralization looks like it could've come from the North Boundary zone. That's what we're kind of banking on right now. It makes you want to drill it. There's definite evidence.
Gerardo Del Real: Just to provide some context, Jim, this is about 500 meters south of North Boundary. Correct?
Jim Pettit: Yep. Hence the slip fault that we're talking about.
Gerardo Del Real: Right.
Jim Pettit: The one thing that we noticed last year as we moved south from the North Boundary zone on the east side of that fault is the alteration changed. The grades became lower grade, plus it became more polymetallic because all of a sudden you've got zinc and lead in there as well as the gold, silver, copper.
What we've got now on the west side, it's the same mineralization and alteration as the North Boundary zone. It's gold, silver, copper. The alteration that changed was as you moved south on that other side, on the east side of the fault, you start losing the potassic alteration which tends to indicate a heat source.
Gerardo Del Real: Right.
Jim Pettit: What we're looking at has the potassic alteration. We're going to test two for the heat source, which could be just to our west. There's a big intrusive sitting there that was not tested. It is covered in scree. We may be able to turn the drill rate around and drill back into the mountain side and see if we can connect with that intrusion.
Gerardo Del Real: How many meters will the initial program consist of?
Jim Pettit: Well, I'm glad you asked because I neglected to put that on the release.
Gerardo Del Real: I scanned it. I looked.
Jim Pettit: We're going to do like we did a few years back. We started with a couple thousand meters. If we get some visual results we like, we're going to increase that. Right now it's 2,000. The holes will be probably about 200 meters tops. That's really all we really need. We can get a handful. We got four drill pads to work off of right now. There's a good probability that we would add, but the weather has been awful up there.
Gerardo Del Real: Right.
Jim Pettit: We'll see how we go because our guys are staying. We're using less helicopter time this year because we've got the camp up on top of the mountain. The guys don't need to be flown around. They can actually walk to the pads. The geologists that were doing all the sampling work can actually walk to where they need to be. They don't have to be flown in at the end of the day they don't have to be flown back down to the bottom of the valley where the trailer park was.
Gerardo Del Real: Obviously, Jim, with everything that's gone on recently and in general, safety first. You and I talked off air a bit. An exciting program obviously, I have to believe that you're getting the phone calls with those type of sample numbers, frankly, to throw more money at you. Because if you hit, the market is rewarding drilling success and it's doing so disproportionately sometimes.
Jim Pettit: Yes.
Gerardo Del Real: You have a real project here. You have a very good understanding of it. Obviously, the last 12 months has really helped refine the geologic understanding. How's the treasury look? Would you expand the program if you're successful early on?
Jim Pettit: Oh yeah, we would. We've got right now roughly $1.5 million dollars in the till. We've got some cost savings because we're not using the helicopter to get the crews up and down every day, because they're up top. That's a tremendous saving. The bottom line is we we've got enough to do what we want to do. But yeah, I have been offered some more money and I may take it because I'm pretty confident.
Gerardo Del Real: That's good to hear. That's what you want to hear. You're supposed to be confident. Again, you've done a lot of work to really refine the targets and I'm glad to see you have access. I'm excited to get assays. What does that look like time wise?
Jim Pettit: Well, that's going to be an issue like it has been the last few years and possibly worse. I'm hearing up to two months right now because there's people drilling, not just in the Golden Triangle, but all over Northern BC. The Kemess area, Toodoggone. There's just all kinds going on everywhere. The labs haven't made the comeback like the mining companies have, like the exploration companies have. So we're still dealing with the one in Terrace and then you have an alternative one in Kamloops. It's probably going to be the same as last year. It could be anywhere up to two months.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, I suspect again that given the nature of the rocks you'll know pretty early if you're into a system and if the program is worth expanding.
Jim, thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you'd like to add before I let you go?
Jim Pettit: No, I think that's good. It's been a bit of a wait, but it's time to work.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, like this gold bull market we're in, it was a bit of a wait. But, man, is it off to a heck of a start, right? Let's hope that's duplicated here with your drill program.
Jim Pettit: Yep. You bet.
Gerardo Del Real: Fantastic. Thank you, Jim.
Jim Pettit: Thanks.