Alianza Minerals (TSX-V: ANZ) CEO Jason Weber on Ongoing Drill Progam at the Horsethief Gold Project in Nevada & Acquisition of the Twin Canyon Gold Property in Colorado
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the President and CEO of Alianza Minerals (TSX-V: ANZ)(OTC: TARSF), Mr. Jason Weber. Jason, how are you?
Jason Weber: Doing very well, Gerardo. Thanks so much for having me on.
Gerardo Del Real: Thanks for coming back on. First and foremost, before we get to the news of your new property that you're already busy working on, can I get a brief update on drilling and how that's coming along out at the Horsethief project?
Jason Weber: Yeah, things are going well. We're probably just over halfway through the program as it stands. We're seeing what we expect to see. With the nature of this type of deposit as you and I have discussed before, you can get good looking rock and it really comes down to how the lab results come back. A lot of our plans going forward will hinge on those, but we're certainly happy with what we're seeing from the drilling.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. Any timeline on assays? Are you planning to release them as a batch, are you going to go a couple of holes at a time, or will it depend on results?
Jason Weber: I suspect it's going to be batches. By the way that we sent the samples to the lab, because of the whole COVID crisis, it was difficult to get somebody to come and pick up the samples and ship them to the lab for us with a big enough truck. So we ended up shipping three holes together. So I'm thinking we're probably going to do three batches of samples by the time it's all said and done.
The lab is backed up. I've phoned and actually asked what turnaround times are, and they said to expect nothing before mid-July. That's pretty crazy on how backed up they are already, but it's the way it goes. I think once things opened up, everybody started working and we have this crush of field work going on and that backs the labs up.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, it's good that people were being careful. Here in Texas 100 people would have volunteered to go and pick those samples up for you, Jason.
Jason Weber: It's a bit crazy, it's a bit crazy.
Gerardo Del Real: Yeah, it's interesting times. Let's talk about the new acquisition, the Twin Canyon gold property. It's a lease in Colorado. Tell me about the property. You mentioned last time you and I spoke that you were finalizing a deal. We now know that it is the Twin Canyon gold property. Can you tell me about it?
Jason Weber: Yeah, this project came to me via one of the geologists that's actually been helping us out at Horsethief. His background is in the petroleum business and sedimentary basins that host petroleum deposits. He had made the crossover onto the hard rock mining side of things. So we sort of have a good feel for both types of exploration.
He'd been studying these basins and looking at base metal deposits associated with petroleum basins, and came across this gold occurrence that he did a little digging, looking into. It was Twin Canyon. He went to look at it, there's a small mining operation that has been active in the '80s and '90s, so he was able to go underground, look at the material that they were processing.
It's really quite interesting. It's a really bland looking white sandstone that really breaks up in your hands really easy. You can rub two pieces of sandstone together and it just dissolves to sand, and in there is native gold. What the miner was doing is he would mine a face, he would take it back to his backyard mill, grind it up, crush it up, and then he would sluice the gold out of that crushed material. So really simple operation.
He claims to have taken several thousand ounces of gold from about 150 meters, 500 feet of underground workings. When you look at this material though, what's striking is one, it's this bland white sandstone, but it's got these bitumen spots, these dark spots that are bitumen, which is probably petroleum that's been oxidized.
The gold is associated with the bitumen, and so what it looks like is you have a sandstone that's sitting in an anticline, this would be a folded bed of sandstone capped by shales that would, if you think in terms of the petroleum system, would trap fluids, that get trapped into this spot. You chemically alter the rocks and you get the petroleum and the gold coming out together.
Now it's a really simplified sort of explanation of it, but the implications are that that sandstone unit, we know is a good host. We've got this little gold mine, let's look outboard of that, maybe there's more of this to be found. Because it's not something that a gold geologist would look for, nor really recognize in the field, unless you've been shown this. The exploration for this probably hasn't occurred in that area.
We think that we can investigate this sandstone horizon elsewhere in the area. If it hangs together, we can have a pretty large gold exploration target that's really quite different and not very well-understood. Obviously, we'd have a bit of an advantage exploring for it. It could theoretically change the way we look for gold deposits in this part of the world.
Gerardo Del Real: It's interesting to me, Jason. There's a part in the release that reads, “Additionally, 1980s vintage rotary drilling confirms the presence of greater than 0.5 gram a tonne over a 500 by 500 meters area. The work suggests that gold mineralization may be more extensive than the immediate mined area.” That's a pretty good head start as far as data goes.
Jason Weber: Yeah, it is. Unfortunately, we don't have the drill logs. There's no chips or anything like that we can look at from that work. We do know where those holes were drilled however. We do have the anecdotal results from those holes. We do have some of the logs. I wouldn't say it's all complete, but it does tell you that this system is bigger than just the mine itself.
When you think about it, some of the sampling underground, there's grab samples that are running half ounce per tonne gold, 15.75 grams per tonne gold. There's channel samples. So, a sample on a 3-meter channel that are averaging 8 grams gold, so just over a quarter ounce. Those are significant gold numbers, that if you can build on some higher grade material like that, you could start to put something interesting together fairly quickly. It's just now a matter of us getting an understanding of how the gold's occurring with the bitumen, what the controls on that are and how to explore for it.
Gerardo Del Real: To that end, you've already commenced a geochemical survey. Is that correct?
Jason Weber: Yeah, we're doing some prelim work right now. The soils haven't started yet. We're actually going to add some claims to the property and we're doing a little bit of looking at the characterization at the mine itself. Then that'll lead to the next rounds of work. But yeah, we do have people on the ground there.
Gerardo Del Real: Two last questions, Jason. You mentioned that you're adding some claims. How big is the project and how is the infrastructure?
Jason Weber: It's 15 claims right now, infrastructure's excellent. I think it's an 8-mile road or 12-mile road in from the highway. There's a gated portion that leads to the mine, but up until that point, the road is well-traveled, really easy access. So that's fantastic. We're about 20 kilometers from the nearest town of Mancos, Colorado. It's a pretty easy area to work in.
Gerardo Del Real: Nice. Good, good, good, good. Well, Jason, I look forward to results, obviously from Horsethief. It's kind of a first pass and a first go, but I know that those programs tend to do a couple of things. One, teach you a lot, and if you actually increase your share price really quickly, especially in this market. Is there anything else that you'd like to add?
Jason Weber: Yeah, you hit the nail on the head. It's almost when you look at these first drill programs, you do, you learn a ton. With every day, you learn more about the geology and you adapt to it. Then it really sets you up for the next round of drilling quite nicely. You just need enough indications in the current drilling to bring you back to follow up and use that new knowledge that you have to target your next round of drilling.
Gerardo Del Real: Fantastic. Jason, thank you for your time. Stay safe out there.
Jason Weber: You too, Gerardo.