Aguila American Gold (TSX-V AGL) CEO Mark Saxon on Maiden Drill Program at WUSA
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the President and CEO of Aguila American Gold, Mr. Mark Saxon. Mark, still up and at it, huh?
Mark Saxon: Gerardo, yes, great to talk to you, and best regards for the season. Hope you're doing well.
Gerardo Del Real: Yeah. Doing excellent. Thank you for asking. There's two types of CEOs. There's the CEOs that are gone for the rest of the year, and those like you that are still reporting news, getting on the phone, and talking shop.
Let's talk shop. You and I haven't spoken publicly for about a month or so, and the stock is up some 60% since then. You had some news yesterday that I want to get into. You completed the initial drill program at your gold project in Oregon. I know that assays are a few months out likely because that's what I've been hearing from everyone else, but it seems like you were really encouraged by what you're seeing in the rocks and what you encountered. Can you speak to the program, how it went? Listen, I know there was challenges, everything from forest fires to COVID restrictions. So let me commend you and the team for working through that.
Mark Saxon: Yeah. Thanks, Gerardo. Yeah, we were very pleased to get the work done, and we had a fairly limited time window, I suppose, and working in Oregon on our WUSA Gold Project. And so between kind of the end of the challenging summer conditions and coming into Christmas and the limitations of COVID, then to get a drill rig, to get people on site, to get our work done, we were very happy with it. And yeah. So we drilled the targets that we wanted to drill, which was four holes and about 650 meters, and gave it a good test of the project over a 1.2 kilometer long strike. And that was great. That's what we needed to do at this stage of the project.
Gerardo Del Real: You mentioned in the release that the drill core provided further support of the low sulphidation epithermal gold model that you were applying. Can you speak to that a bit and talk about some of the soil sampling and the high gold values that you got from that?
Mark Saxon: Yeah, for sure. And great question. You're kind of getting to the crux of the PR, and I'm glad you sort of got to that area because the area that we're working in Oregon, it's got some very famous historic gold mines in the area called the Bohemia field, and we're sitting next to that, but in a fairly new kind of discovery area. So the project was discovered in 2015 with soil sampling and it had grades in soil up to five grams per tonne of gold. So exceptional values over a very large area. And in fact, it's about a two kilometer long strike length.
To the north of the project is a historic mercury mine. And mercury is very commonly associated with gold in epithermal systems. And that's, I guess, what clued us onto the idea that this could be an epithermal district. And that epithermal mercury mine, it shut, I think, in 1969, and was very important during the war efforts and things like that to provide a source, but been closed for a very long time.
But we come down to the WUSA project, and this prospect here called Scorpion-Cinnabar. And so it gave us a two kilometer long soil anomaly. So we've been down now and tested with drilling sort of at various intervals, the soil anomaly to see what lies beneath and to understand what the source of that soil anomaly could be. And when we're talking about epithermal textures, we're talking about, I guess, the fluids that come from intrusions and volcanoes that can carry gold coming into the rocks. And so what we see is veining textures, silicification, alteration of the host rocks, and fairly specifically we see open space textures, which means it's been boiling and coming near surface, and all of that is very attractive for gold deposition. And that's what we've been seeing in the core.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. This is one of four prospects that you've identified so far. Can you walk me through what the team will be doing while you await the assays? Which I understand, as I mentioned up front, there's probably a delay of a couple of months before we see those, right?
Mark Saxon: That's right. It'll be a few months, and let's say the first part of February or something is where we're kind of targeting at the moment, or perhaps the end of January. And really, the labs that we use, they're doing social distancing, they're changing their schedules. And also obviously it's been a very busy season for gold, so they've got lots of samples coming through.
So yeah, we've got a number of other prospects alongside Scorpion-Cinnabar. Scorpion-Cinnabar will always be a strong target for us. So we'll go back with or without the gold results and when we get those essays, but we'll be back there working as well. More regionally, we need to do stream sediment sampling to identify new targets. We're doing some image interpretation to really understand the structural and alteration context of the big area, because we're exploring a huge area, 150,000 hectares. And so we need to bring some targets through in those areas with some really regional techniques.
And then we have another few prospect areas. Perhaps the one that is most noteworthy is called Walker Creek, and Walker Creek was last drilled in the late '80s, early '90s. And that had results that would be of very great interest today. So 12 meters at 1.4 grams per tonne, I think, is one of the key intersections there, and that hasn't had another drill hole for, what's that, 30 years. No one's been back there. So surface sampling and mapping back on that project and finding additional targets to followup those good intercepts.
Gerardo Del Real: You also, you mentioned having prospects, other prospects. You also have a very, very influential and deep network of contacts that I know is invaluable when you're vetting other projects. Are you still looking at other projects?
Mark Saxon: Absolutely. And really, you know the network that we come from, Gerardo, and we've got a great feed of projects to look at there and great supporters of shareholders and more broadly. But yeah, I guess when we started looking for projects, and maybe that was sort of September, October, the gold price was running really hard and everyone was kind of seeing two and a half thousand dollar gold.
At the moment, gold's taken a little bit of a breath, and so trading sideways. A great time to be looking for new projects. People are willing to vend and do good deals on really good projects. Plus we're looking at a whole range of things on open ground as well that nobody's looked at for quite a long time. So within our network, those projects are bleeding through now. So yeah, many really interesting things are on the table at the moment, and certainly some of those will come through and become projects for us, I'm sure.
Gerardo Del Real: You closed a financing at the end of September for, I believe it was 2.65 million Canadian. So the treasury obviously is pretty robust, which gives you leverage at the negotiation table. Can you walk me through where you plan to spend that in 2021, Mark?
Mark Saxon: Yeah, for sure. Yeah, our capital structure is very good and in terms of very tight shareholding. Yeah. Good level of insider ownership still. The company Aguila was essentially a shell until six months ago when we started to look for new ideas.
So yeah, good cash in the bank. So more than two million Canadian, and that's giving us a little optionality, I guess. And so part of our budget will certainly be spent at the WUSA project, and we've got plenty of milestones there. And a good part will be focused on looking for new ideas and targets in the Western U.S., I think, and up into Canada is our key focus at the moment. But yeah, we're well financed. Yeah, of course we do financings when we need to, and sometime during the year I'm sure we'll consider that, but at the moment we're in very good shape.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, as always in the interest of full disclosure, I'm biased. I like the team. I like the company. I wrote a check in the last financing. I look forward to writing other checks and I look forward to 2021. Merry Christmas, happy holiday, happy new year to you and your family, Mark. And look forward to chatting again soon.
Mark Saxon: Thanks, Gerardo, and appreciate the support for last year. And yeah, look forward to catching up in person next year. Hope everything goes well.
Gerardo Del Real: As do I. Thanks a lot, Mark.
Mark Saxon: Okay. Cheers. Bye for now.