Aben Resources (TSX-V: ABN) CEO Jim Pettit on Upcoming Drill Programs Looking for High-Grade Gold at the Forrest Kerr Project in the Golden Triangle & the Justin Project in the Yukon

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: ABNNF), Mr. Jim Pettit. Jim, long time, no hear. How the heck have you been?

Jim Pettit: Well, I've been good. It's been quiet, but I've been busy. I've been really busy getting things ready. You saw the news release, we’re ready to go.

Gerardo Del Real: That's great way of putting it. I know that you've been busy behind the scenes. It's been quiet, news flow-wise. That is about to change for the next several months. I think that the news release captured it perfectly so I'm just going to read it verbatim. It says, "Aben Announces Ambitious Exploration Plans for Justin Gold Project in the Yukon and Forrest Kerr Gold Project in BC's Golden Triangle Region."

I recall last year where the stock doubled in a matter of what seemed like thirty days on anticipation of drilling of that Forrest Kerr project. You've added Justin. Let's be very clear to the market, you're out there looking for high-grade gold. You've mentioned in the past, of course, you're going to find different things, but the goal here is two projects that can deliver some high-grade hits.

Give me some context here, Jim.

Jim Pettit: Yeah, you bet. I've always had the philosophy if you're going to be in the gold business exploration side of things, not developing, there's a sweet spot. If you can find an area that's known for high grade, go there, see what you can come up with.

So that's what got me into the Golden Triangle three years ago and it brought me to the Yukon awhile back in 2010. I've had a project up there since then. We did discover an intrusion-related system, which is generally known as a little lower grade bulk tonnage. Kind of like a Fort Knox and Victoria Gold, that sort of thing.

But what we've done quietly over the last few years, spent a hundred thousand here and a hundred thousand there and we've come up with a very high-grade zone next to that lower grade intrusion. It's a different type of system. It's orogenic, it's very much like Golden Predator where they've come up with some staggering grades. They still have yet to come up with a resource but they're known for very high grades. They're actually shipping bulk tonnes to Watson Lake to a mill.

Gerardo Del Real: Right.

Jim Pettit: And not a well-known fact, but that's how high grade it is. It's gravity fed water mill, it's really great. We're right next to it. It looks like an extension of the Three Aces. So we've called it The Lost Ace. And we're going to go up there this year and spend about $1 million. The budget's actually about $1.3 million. We can drill up to 10 diamond drill holes and we can put in upwards of 20 rotary air blast holes, which is a RAB drill, which is really good for near-surface exploration work.

We go 20 to 50 meters deep with this rotary air blast. It moves really quickly. Almost like we get the same information and value as trenching and that sort of thing but this takes us down to a little bit deeper depth. In the scheme of things it's a couple hundred grand will get us about 20 holes.

Gerardo Del Real: Excellent, and let me just provide some context and clarity real quick. We're talking about the Justin project right now. Correct?

Jim Pettit: This is the Justin project in the Yukon. Yes. It's on the east side of the Yukon, right off the main hauling road from the Cantung Mine, which is further to the north.

Gerardo Del Real: So Justin will see approximately 2,000 meters of drilling. That will commence here within the next week and a half or two in early June.

Jim Pettit: Yeah.

Gerardo Del Real: That program ends and then drilling begins at Forrest Kerr. I know a lot of people are excited for you to follow up on some of the high-grade hits that you were really successful with early on in the program. The rest of the program, people in the business, especially geologists, like to call a technical success. You learned a lot about the project but you weren't able to quite duplicate those super high-grade results that you got. You were kind of a victim of your own success there.

Jim Pettit: Yeah.

Gerardo Del Real: Let's talk about that northward extension of that North Boundary Zone that you're looking for this time around.

Jim Pettit: Two of our earlier holes were drilled parallel to the north but there was a wide gap between them. A lot of what we ran into, why things weren't as great and we couldn't keep coming up with stellar news, was because we couldn't build new pads. We only had a limited number of drill pads for the drill to work off of, so you're limited to angles you can reach off of those pads.

We have now got our permits going forward for another 5 years of drilling. That's 55 drill pad locations that have been approved. So we now can put pads where we want them to get better angles. What we're thinking is there's something up to the north because we did extend two holes last year to the north. They might be about a hundred meters apart. And as we hit the end of the holes, we started experiencing some pretty good mineralization.

Gerardo Del Real: Right.

Jim Pettit: As we know from looking at some of the other holes where you started hitting and you keep going. Boom, you can get into some pretty rich stuff. We want to go up there and put in a new pad a little closer to this area and drill in between them, knowing the sort of orientation of which way these veins run, etc. We could be into something there.

That's a good place to start. And then we can go to the south a little bit, back to that old Noranda hole. We never had a good pad location there that would help us truly test it. It was what we call spearfishing from like 180 meters away, trying to hit an exact pinpoint where Noranda back in 1991 hit three hundred and, what was it, three hundred and like forty some odd grams over one meter.

Gerardo Del Real: Right.

Jim Pettit: That's pretty spectacular. We don't know what's around it because we never saw the core. All we saw were some old logs. That's looking like an area that we can go and do something like we did last year and drill underneath it. There's two areas to get started in and then we've got something down in the South Boundary Zone. We had good success there with more of a polymetalic, it was high-grade gold and copper and then there was also silver and zinc. And those were very broad intersections. Upwards of a hundred meters and carried throughout.

That's an area we need to get back into and look in a little more detail. We were very limited. We had one pad there. So you can only do so much. We can put a bunch around it and start poking. And I think that that's an area that we could expand on, or more importantly we think that's an area that we can expand on.

And then we got a geophysical survey being flown starting probably in the next week. The whole Boundary Zone is going to get flown and that will overlay the existing geochem completely and if there's areas that we want to go in and really focus on we can go in there with a drone geophysical survey because they're really quite good at what they do now. They're really high res. We can't do the whole region with a drone because the wind comes firing up that valley pretty quick. We want to keep it to smaller locations. But it's going to give us a lot more targets going forward as we head south.

Gerardo Del Real: That's a lot of news flow, Jim. You have 2,000 meters at Justin. You're planning an initial 5,000 meters at Forrest Kerr.

Jim Pettit: Yeah.

Gerardo Del Real: Obviously, if you're successful you're going to add to that, I imagine. Let's talk about the treasury. You were smart enough to get a financing done at higher prices last year. How is that looking? The program is fully funded as I understand it. Right?

Jim Pettit: Yeah, we've got just over $5 million in the treasury right now to get us through this year. We could actually cover the Yukon as well with that. If we have success coming out of the shoot like we did last year or anywhere on the line, we have the ability to raise more money and higher prices. We're in good shape. We're in very good shape.

And one of the reasons I think the stock has been responding so well since the beginning of the year, it's just on a steady upward trend. We're in the low twenties now. Last year we started, we were down around 10 cents. I think 10 or 20. Or 10 to 12 cents. So we've built a huge base. Really good base here.

Gerardo Del Real: And then what happened, Jim? I encourage everybody, by the way, to look at a 3-year chart because it's pretty consistent. Right? That 10 cent level, it bounces and bases right around that 20 cent level, and if you get any kind of luck you're back up there to the 40, 45, 50 cent level. My funny not funny question was and then what happened after you based at 20 cents last year?

Jim Pettit: Well, our very first hole was nothing less than spectacular.

Gerardo Del Real: Right.

Jim Pettit: And that just set the ball in motion. Then you've got a lot of ability there to make good money. If you own the stock now, or if you own the stock say January to now and you're waiting, anywhere along the line, we hit any kind of good results and if we can carry on with that then it'll start creating its own base up higher.

Gerardo Del Real: Absolutely.

Jim Pettit: If you don't, if the market isn't totally enamored with it, what a lot of people do I guess is they get their money back and ride it. Right?

Gerardo Del Real: That's the game. That's the game for a lot of people.

Jim Pettit: Yeah, that's the game. And then they wait until the next year and you can, I know, I guess it looks like it happens over. Kind of like Groundhog Day, here we are again.

But at the end of the season, because it's a four to five-month season up there, and then you're getting chased out by anywhere from thirty to forty feet of snow.

Gerardo Del Real: Right.

Jim Pettit: Through the winter, and now I think by the time we get in there this year, which Cornell, the guy running the show up there, has been asked by so many people, "When do you start drilling? When do you start drilling at Forrest Kerr?"

And so he's got it down. He's surgically, like a military guy. He said, "Yeah, we should start drilling at June 28th at 4:00.”

Gerardo Del Real: There we go. There we go.

Well, we went a couple of months without speaking, Jim. I get the feeling we're going to be talking several times a month here moving on forward for the next three to four months. Thank you so much for your time this afternoon and I'm looking forward to the first set of assays and getting those drills turning. Nothing like that in this business.

Jim Pettit: Yeah, I can't wait. It's going to be good.

Gerardo Del Real: Fantastic. Jim, thanks a lot. Appreciate it.

Jim Pettit: All right, you bet. Thanks.