Aben Resources (TSX-V: ABN) CEO Jim Pettit on Initial Drill Results from the South Boundary Zone & Upcoming Catalysts: Assays from the North Boundary Zone and Drill Program at the Chico Project in Saskatchewan
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 morning?
Jim Pettit: I'm doing great. Thank you very much, Gerardo.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, thanks for coming back on. We were talking off air a bit. I noted that you had everything but the high grade, which is what the market was looking for. You reported holes from the Forrest Kerr property. I'd love to get your take on what you did see that you liked and what you're seeing now, because drills are still turning if I'm not mistaken.
Jim Pettit: Yes, they're turning but we're coming really close to the end of the season. But that's okay, we got lots of holes to report. As far as what we just reported, the three holes from the South Boundary Zone, that's an area we've named it the South Boundary Zone because it's a kilometer and a half, almost a mile away from where we're doing the bulk of our drilling, the North Boundary Zone which was the discovery from last year that we reconfirmed this year with tremendously high grades.
The reason we did these three holes down there was to give some time to the geos onsite to see assays coming in on the North Boundary Zone so that we would have a better understanding of where to drill in the process. Otherwise, when you're drilling that quickly like we've been doing all season, you're drilling blind and trying to follow the mineralization without knowing what the analysis tells you – right? –the assays.
So, we drilled these three holes but we did it because they were really good targets. It's coincidental with the geochem which is part of the big geochemical signature on the whole Boundary Zone. There was also an overlying geophysical survey done probably 20 years ago. It's an EM which is the kind you would want for this environment. So they overlaid each other and they had a really good target associated, that's the South Boundary Zone.
So, we drilled those holes. They finally released early this week. They're, from our perspective, extremely good because it gives us unbelievable indications. Very broad, lower grade intersections, especially in Hole 21. You had almost the whole hole, 400 meters mineralized anywhere from 0.1, 0.2 grams all the way up to 5 grams. Very rare intercepting anywhere in there that was blank. So that's telling us something. And then the other two holes were really well mineralized as well. What we did not have was the really high 20 to 30 gram content in it.
Gerardo Del Real: Which is not the norm, of course.
Jim Pettit: Yeah, that's not the norm at all but that's what our market wants to see to some extent. This is telling us that we're into something and we need to drill more. We certainly have the budget for it for next year. We can't get back in there because we don't have any new pad locations for it. You have to get permits for pad locations. This is an area we only had one pad location. We would like to do more there, which will require us to get permitted for a new pad. You put the rig on the pad and you start drilling.
What we hit there could be just a few meters away from what we've hit up in the North Boundary Zone. And it also tells us the robust nature of this whole Boundary Zone. It's 6 kilometers to the north and south and it's 2 kilometers wide to the east and west. It's a huge geochemical anomaly and we've now flown the whole thing. We've done an airborne geophysical survey that will overlay the whole valley. It's going to give us some good info. So that'll be part of our compilation work for the winter.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent.
Jim Pettit: Yeah. And plus we had crews in there filing in holes in the geochem and extending the geochem, which is just soil and silt and rock sampling. Then we'll have the benefit of all the analysis, the assays from all the holes. We'll be able to put it all together this winter and come back next year with a tremendous program, more than likely more than one drill, too. Because we're still on the first target. When we did our initial data compilation when we assembled the land three years ago, our number one priority out of about 12 priority targets on our overall property was the Boundary Zone and we're still on our first target two years later.
Gerardo Del Real: And you still have 24 holes pending from the North Boundary Zone, right?
Jim Pettit: Yes. We have 24 holes, all in the North Boundary Zone. And I suspect we'll be able to batch them up and get them out about every 10 days until they done. And that'll get us through the end of December which is good. That's very good because then when you get into the new year, into January we'll be able to get after our other property, the Chico. Because January, February, March is the prime time to drill on that project. That one's over in Saskatchewan.
Gerardo Del Real: Now, for people that aren't familiar with that property, Jim, can you give us a bit of an overview there?
Jim Pettit: Yeah. It's an exploration property. It's south of the Claude Resources Mine, which SSR bought for $337 million two years ago. They're extending their land package to the south all the way to our border. That is for future exploration. They want to increase the size of their resource. They've got a really good production facility. They've got about five, six years of existing resource to work with and it's a high-grade mine. It's 4 to 5 gram production.
But they're drilling. There's 18,000 meters of drilling all the way down to our northern border. And it's on a similar feature to the Forrest Kerr. The Forrest Kerr's a huge fault that runs right up north-south through the Golden Triangle. Well, this is a fault that runs right down the middle of Saskatchewan over to South Dakota. It's called the Tabbernor Fault.
So what everyone's there is working off of splays off of that fault, sub faults we call them. And that's where the gold ends up. It's just like Forrest Kerr. So, that's where we are. And as a matter of fact, the southern extent of the Tabbernor is the huge Homestake Mine. That's where it was and it was based off the same thesis, right? The splays coming off the Tabbernor Fault allows the fluids into the region and that's where you find the gold and that's what we're doing here next January, February, and March.
Gerardo Del Real: So, lots of news flow for the next 6 months. You're fully funded you mentioned that. What's the treasury look like right now?
Jim Pettit: Just over $7 million. We're in good shape.
Gerardo Del Real: Fantastic.
Jim Pettit: We're in good shape. Yeah. Our existing program, even though we doubled the size of it, is virtually paid for. We've probably got by the end of the day another $300,000 to pay for drilling and helicopter and the crew there. But, the bulk of it's going to be used for next year's programs.
Gerardo Del Real: What's the market cap look like right now, Jim? You mentioned the $7 million in cash. You have 24 holes pending from the North Boundary Zone. You're going to be drilling the new property in January. What's the market cap at?
Jim Pettit: It's just over $20 million.
Gerardo Del Real: Yeah.
Jim Pettit: Yeah, a couple of months ago it was $40 [million].
Gerardo Del Real: Right.
Jim Pettit: But that's the nature, the cyclical nature of having a short season to work in. Yeah, the market tends to sell off a little bit towards the end or if you come out with good news you'll have a liquidity event and some guys will sell their stock and position and wait until next year. But this year it's going to be a little different because we have other projects that are virtually at the same stage as the Forrest Kerr. Right? Chico that I was just talking about. It's ready to be drilled and it's got historic drilling there.
But what we know now, from the work we've done in the past few years, is the geophysics in that we know where to drill. A lot of surface work and a lot of geochem. I haven't even talked about our Yukon project and that'll get fit in on the shoulders next year probably.
Gerardo Del Real: Perfect.
Jim Pettit: That's tied right on to Golden Predator's project.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, you didn't have the high grade. You had a lot of smoke. I get the feeling that we're going to get some fire from North Boundary. We'll see. The assays will tell the story there but you've got a lot of news flow and a lot of catalysts coming up for a company with $7 million in cash and a market cap of $20 million Canadian.
Jim Pettit: $20 million, yeah. We're just a victim of the short season but it'll recover. I'm confident as heck that it's going to recover. We've got lots of news to come.
Gerardo Del Real: Jim, thank you so much for the update. I really appreciate the time.
Jim Pettit: You bet. Thanks.