K2 Gold (TSX-V: KTO) VP of Exploration Jo Price on the Exciting Prospecting and Exploration Developments at the Wels Gold Project
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is VP of Exploration for K2 Gold (TSX-V: KTO)(OTC: KTGDF), Mrs. Jo Price. Jo, how are you this morning?
Jo Price: Good, Gerardo. How are you?
Gerardo Del Real: I am doing excellent. I want to thank you for taking the time, and I want to ask you a bit about your background. You have over two decades of experience as an exploration geologist and project manager. You've also worked on multiple gold, poly-metallic, and graphite projects all over the place. Can you share a bit about that experience and your background?
Jo Price: Sure, I can. I came to Canada in '95 to go to grad school and found that Canada was the hub for exploration and so I decided to stay. As a very young geo, worked my way up through logging, up to project management, managing multi-million dollar programs, mainly in the north and Australia. And most of that experience led me to a technical direction and budgeting and operations, as well as technical database admin and management, land and lease management as well as permitting. Also added in there a little bit of community current relations work.
Gerardo Del Real: So, you came to this profession the honest way.
Jo Price: That I certainly did.
Gerardo Del Real: Listen, the Wels Project is K2 Gold's flagship project. What attracted you to the Wels Project? What features do you think are compelling enough for you to want to engage and continue exploration here in 2018?
Jo Price: The Wels Project is located about 50km out of Beaver Creek, pretty close to road access, about 25km from road access, which is pretty good for the Yukon. And it was found originally in 2006 by pretty weak soil anomalies in a brand new district. It was only staked first in 2011, and subsequent trenching and drilling by a company called Gorilla located a pretty hefty deposit called the Saddle deposit. It's pretty high-grade gold, and they put half a dozen holes in that deposit and it's pretty consistent. So that was a very compelling target of a new discovery, new district, that hadn't seen a whole lot of gold exploration before. So that is very attractive.
Additional drilling by us in 2017 extended that zone, Saddle. And the zone at Saddle is such that it looks like it sits in granite, and it looks like it's intrusive related deposit, which is pretty common in and around the Tintina Belt through Alaska and into the Yukon. However, later in the season in 2017, we did locate two other prospects through just basic boots on the ground prospecting, about two kilometers away from the Saddle itself, in completely different rock types. We had some 28 gram results from a gabbro, as well as multi-gram results from quartzite. And so this kind of changed the model a little bit. Why were we getting such high-grade results from outside the granite body proper?
We had to change our thinking a little bit to try and figure out why that might be, given that the Wels Project is not blessed with outcrop. It's basically nearly 100% blind. Mapping is pretty poor in this region, generally. Those combined features offer some really great size potential, we think, and so we would like to move forward with the 2018 program.
Gerardo Del Real: Now, I understand that you reprocessed the geochem and the geophysical data. What was the methodology and why did you do that?
Jo Price: After we found those other prospects in different rock types, we thought that given the soil data has 34 elements, geochem ICP as well as the rock samples do, is there anymore information we can tease out of this data that will put us in the right spot on the ground, ultimately. Can we glean any information about why the gold is potentially in other rock types, as well as Saddle. And so we handed over our data set to a very well-known geochemist, who's done quite a lot of modeling with BHP and Gold Fields and such, has a lot more experience in that regard than I do. And he was able to reprocess and analyze the data and came up with a very sizable antimony footprint to the entire project, basically, that are both the new prospects as well as Saddle.
That might be more indicative of more of an orogenic-style model to the gold than just a wholly intrusive related. And that perhaps would explain why we're seeing gold in multiple rock types. That's a little higher-grade than you would see traditionally in intrusive related. You are seeing the higher grade that is more indicative of orogenic style and the structural component is likely pretty important here. That compares well with other orogenic style deposits in the Yukon like Kaminak for instance, the Coffee Project.
Gerardo Del Real: Right. So I've got to believe that that's encouraging in the sense that, and I'm not a geologist, so please correct me if I'm wrong, but that's got to expand the potential scale of the potential ore body. Would that be accurate?
Jo Price: That is accurate. The footprint of it currently sits, the antimony footprint, is around 2 kilometers by 3.5. And that's very comparable to the size of the Coffee Project as it currently sits. And that holds 4 million ounces. And it's considerably larger than the footprint at Victoria Gold project at Dublin Gulch which is an intrusive related system.
Gerardo Del Real: Have the results of the reprocessing affected the way that you're going to explore the project this year, now? And I've got to think that there was probably some thinking that went into acquiring the extra ground from the recent press release a few days back. I got to believe some of that was affected by the reprocessing, would that be correct?
Jo Price: Sure. Yeah, it changed our thinking a little bit. We're not quite so pigeon-holing the deposit, we're pretty much open to looking at anything that the facts lend us to. Because that model has changed a little bit. We've been looking in all of the rock types, we won't be closing any doors in that regard. Looking at all of this for structure and alteration and contacts, and how they relate to each other. And those new claims were just covering some northern and southern extents of those new anomalous areas that the geochem covered. We just wanted to cover all our bases and make sure that we had all the ground that we needed to acquire before we set off in 2018 with our new program.
Gerardo Del Real: Perfect, and that leads me right into my next question. Can you explain the chronology of the exploration program and of course the reasoning behind it?
Jo Price: Sure thing. In looking forward to 2018, we will be conducting some ground geophysics. And this is kind of a test. Given that we don't have any outcrop in the area, we're going to do some ground IP, VLF, and Mag lines to test exactly how the rocks are reacting to those systems. And then once we figure out exactly how they're reacting, we can go in and do a bigger program to really map out the structure and the geology in that area under surface. That coupled with some prospecting which will lead hopefully to some significant trenching, more soil sampling, which will have to wait until the middle of the season once the ground has freed up, and some mapping with some LIDAR and some UAV work.
Once all that is accomplished and then hopefully that will give us some pretty accurate drill targets to go after in multiple rock targets, not just the Saddle, but elsewhere, too.
Gerardo Del Real: Wonderful. You mentioned two things there, that there's very little outcrop at Wells and you mentioned prospectors. Can you explain what skills prospectors have and how they help you in your exploration to kind of combat the fact that there is very little outcrop at Wells.
Jo Price: It does take a little bit of time because you have to dig down to get rock that's anyway sample-able just at the surface there. The cover is about a meter or so, maybe a little less in spots, so it does take a little bit of time to get those samples. Our prospectors seem to have quite the nose for good rocks that are a little altered and look a little juiced and look a little different. So they are able to chase, from hole to hole, where they might think that good stuff is. It just requires quite a lot of boots and a little bit of time, effort, and thought whilst you're prospecting, I think.
Gerardo Del Real: Absolutely fascinating stuff, Jo. Thank you so much for your time. I'm looking forward to having you back on later in the season as we start getting news regarding the exploration efforts and then just what you uncover. It's one of the most fascinating things to me as a speculator in the space and I got to imagine you have a passion for it as well, being as this is what you do for a living.
Jo Price: It's pretty exciting stuff, I have to say.
Gerardo Del Real: Wonderful. Jo, thank you so much, I appreciate it.
Jo Price: Great, speak with you after the season.
Gerardo Del Real: Wonderful.