K2 Gold (TSX-V: KTO) CEO Stephen Swatton Stakes New Mineral Claims at MacArthur Creek, Eyes District Scale Potential of Area at Alaska-Yukon Border
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is President and CEO of K2 Gold (TSX-V: KTO)(OTC: KTGDF), Mr. Stephen Swatton. Stephen, thank you for joining me today. I understand you're out in the field.
Stephen Swatton: Thanks very much, Gerardo. Yeah, I'm out in the field so I apologize if there's any background noise, but happy to speak with you.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, thank you for taking the time. You had some news that's going to be important to K2. I made a note yesterday to my network that most retail investors and speculators probably wouldn't notice the news and, sure enough, the market didn't move much on the news, but I think it's pretty important. You staked some new mineral claims in the Moosehorn Range, in my old stomping grounds of Alaska. Why Alaska, Stephen?
Stephen Swatton: Alaska is, relative to Yukon, is a relatively unexplored area. And what I mean by that is the geology, obviously, knows no boundaries, no political boundaries, but the geology of the Tintina belt, which is over 10 million ounces of gold, extends right through the Yukon into western Alaska. What we've been working on a year and a half now is identifying areas within the Tintina belt that look similar to what we see in Yukon. And, of course, we understand the Kaminak style deposit, which is now 4 million ounces sold to Goldcorp for $520 million, and we're looking for things like that that may extend over into Alaska, and we recognize this particular area as somewhere we'd like to get into.
We've already staked some ground nearby on the Yukon side, which is called our Ladue property. Therefore, all we're doing is extending the geology over the border into Alaska and recognizing other potential areas that look similar to Kaminak style and Wels style geology.
Gerardo Del Real: What kind of potential do you see at the property? I know the due diligence that you and your team do when you're looking at properties. I know you look at a lot and you turn down 99.9% of the properties. So I have to imagine you were pretty impressed. What kind of potential are you seeing here, Stephen?
Stephen Swatton: Yeah, this is one of those historical mining areas that was discovered back in the late 1800s and was part of the gold rush from the San Francisco miners moved to Yukon in the late '90s. And this was one of those districts that they came in and recognized as being a potential. So, there's about 100,000 ounces of placer gold being taken, and actually, interesting for me, there's also about 4,000 ounces of hard rock gold being recovered.
So, they kind of had an angle on where the gold might've come from, but it's undergone pretty limited amount of work, and part of that is because it's a fairly remote area. But, obviously with the modern way that we operate now, there's an airstrip that's relatively close that we can use, and we're hoping to access the Alaskan side, which is only 24 kilometers from the Alaska highway. So, on the Alaskan side, fortunately for us, it's a little better located, but we'll also be working on the eastern side and we're talking to our other neighbors about potential deals that might be going on on their ground, too.
Gerardo Del Real: Interesting. Jo Price, your VP of Exploration who I recently had the pleasure of interviewing, described the MacArthur Creek project as a large, prospective district scale opportunity. What are the next steps and what's the anticipated work program looking like to figure out exactly what the scale of the property is?
Stephen Swatton: Yeah, it is quite simple actually, Gerardo. There's a limited amount of data that's been taken on the Alaskan side, but what we can find, we will put together, but we're going to just sort of extend it from the Yukon side, which there's a fair amount of data, extrapolate it, and then what we'll do is we'll go into the field, helicopter support, take a bunch of soil samples and rock samples this year, and just sort of just get our feet wet on this side.
There is a local guy working one of the placer streams over there across the rivers, and so therefore, we're going to increase our knowledge base, and, as I said, we'll be talking to the partners that are adjacent to us on the Yukon side to see if we can pull it together. And if we'd manage to pull it together, our property is 7,400 hectacres, which is fairly sizable in itself. It's about the same size as the Wels property, but if we can amalgamate that with a couple of other properties in the area, then we're talking it’s 20 kilometers long by several kilometers. So, it's getting up to the district size, yeah.
Gerardo Del Real: You mentioned Wels. I mentioned Jo Price, your VP of Exploration. I spoke with her last week about the reinterpretation of a lot of the data and how that project now has taken on a life of its own. It's interpreted now to be more Coffee style. You mentioned Kaminak earlier. What's going on with Wels and what can we expect out of that program?
Stephen Swatton: Yeah. At the moment, as it happens this year, the snow pack is fairly deep so we're probably going to be delayed, everybody is up there, a short while while we're waiting for snow to go, but we got our prospecting team ready to go. We'll be heading out into the field at the end of this month, and we'll be starting to do trenching, more soil sampling, rock sampling and just taking off from where we finished last year.
I'm fairly excited, also, because from the Wels property, we can access this new property on the Yukon side, the Ladue, which, of course, is the other side from MacArthur Creek. And so, we'll be able to access our field work from one location in southwest Yukon, and that's significant in terms of saving costs in terms of moving people around by helicopter because Yukon is not a cheap place to operate. It's not like working in Nevada in the States or something like that where you kind of rock up in your four-wheel drive and go to it. We have to rock up in a $2,000 an hour helicopter, but if we can reduce costs, which we are doing, our exploration dollars go a lot further.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. It sounds like a busy 2018, Stephen. Anything else that you'd like to add?
Stephen Swatton: No, that's it. I'm very excited about this new opportunity we've just taken. The only thing I would like to add is it's not the only one we're going to be looking at. There's other things that we've identified and watch this space for details because we're pretty keen on Alaska. We realized that our niche is the Arctic, and our strength is the people that work for us and also the history that we have with the Kaminak type of geology, which we now got a pretty good handle on. So, look out for us because we'll be taking out more opportunities in Alaska, and this year and next year, we'll be probably moving more towards an Alaskan as well as Yukon based.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, I've always said that the money is made by betting on the best teams that look at tough markets and make the most of them, and it certainly looks like you're out there and you guys and gals are busy picking up some good stuff.
Stephen Swatton: Yup.
Gerardo Del Real: Thank you so much for your time, Stephen. I appreciate it.
Stephen Swatton: Thank you very much. Always a pleasure to speak to you, Gerardo.