Millrock Resources (TSX-V: MRO) CEO Greg Beischer on Drill Results from the 64North Gold Project in Alaska
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me once again is the President and CEO of Millrock Resources (TSX-V: MRO)(OTC: MLRKF), Mr. Greg Beischer. Greg, how are you today?
Greg Beischer: I'm doing very well. Good morning, Gerardo.
Gerardo Del Real: Let's get right to it. You announced this morning an update on drilling at the Aurora Target at the West Pogo Block of the 64North Gold Project. That of course is your massive district-scale land package in Alaska. I'll give you the nontechnical overview as I received it. A lot more smoke, and the smoke is getting thicker, but we don't have any fire yet. I'm encouraged and excited to see that it looks like you'll be having a crew back out on site here at the end of the month.
We have a market. Rupert Resources recently hit something like 183 meters of, I believe, 1.8 grams per tonne gold [Editor's Note: 137.8 meters of 1.8 grams per tonne gold]. The stock's up some 70, 80%. Free gold right in Alaska. Very, very, very richly rewarded for success. So, we have a market that wants discoveries, that's rewarding discoveries. And I know that's the goal with Millrock. Can you give us an overview of today's news and what's next?
Greg Beischer: Sure. Thanks, Gerardo. Well, this was just assay results from the bottom part of the first hole that we had drilled and the incomplete hole that was drilled, but then ended abruptly in mid-March when the COVID scare came along. For safety reasons, the drill contractor paused the program. So, the bottom of the hole one continued with yet more narrow, low-ish gold grades. But nevertheless, with strong support from the pathfinders – silver, arsenic, bismuth and tellurium, and those are the earmarks.
We know we've got the structures. We know we've got the right mineralizing system. Again, we just have to vector within it to find where it heats up so that the smoke turns to fire. That diorite intrusion directly to the north from where this first hole was drilled could be that heat engine. And so we'll be marching our drills closer towards that. The next hole we'll drill is around 450 meters north of the first one, and then another 450 meters so that we're right beside that diorite magmatic intrusion. That'll give a really good indication. We'll get vectors from that. If we don't hit the actual deposit with those next two or three holes, then we'll know which direction to make the next round of drilling.
So, pleased with the results. We'd like to see higher grade, but this is a lot of smoke and we've got the system. Now we just got to keep going at it in a systematic fashion.
Gerardo Del Real: You have a fully-funded program. Of course, there's $5 million US that's allocated towards this year's drilling and exploration. You believe it sounds like then the next couple of holes will give you a much clearer indication of which way to vector towards that heat source then.
Greg Beischer: That's right. And yep, our earn-in partner, Resolution, has certainly enough money in their account for this full next round of drilling three or four more holes, one of them rather deep. So we'll execute that. I suspect they'll do another capital raise while that drilling program's ongoing, and that'll set us up to drill nearby the existing holes if we've had success.
But also, in the down dip direction from the Pogo mine and the Goodpaster deposit, we've got another great target, the Echo target. We'll need a helicopter drill for that work, but we're starting to bring together that plan for later in the summer. It's great that we have a $5 million budget for this project this year. It's keeping the entire team really busy and it's giving us the opportunity to really thoroughly test this very compelling target we've got just to the immediate west and northwest of the Pogo mine.
Gerardo Del Real: We've referenced the Pogo mine several times. And obviously Northern Star's Goodpaster gold deposit. Can you speak about what's similar and what's different thus far? And again, we're talking a couple of holes. It's very, very, very early in the exploration process. But what is similar and what so far is different from that deposit, as you understand it?
Greg Beischer: Sure. Maybe just a bit of background first on Pogo. You know a lot about it, Gerardo, but maybe some of your listeners don't. It's a great mine. It produces several hundred thousand ounces of gold every year. Underground mine, high grade. The 4 million ounces that have been mined to date, the average mine grade was 13.6 grams per tonne.
Northern Star, the mine operator, seems to be an excellent mining company that's going to maximize the value. They've got 6 million ounces laid out in front of them and it's growing all the time. They're great explorers as well as great miners, and they're adding ounces of gold all the time.
We'd love to find another one, and we've certainly got a long, long list of similarities in terms of structure, geology, geochemistry. All the right ingredients are there, and now that we've got one hole into the system, we see that all the earmarks are there. As I mentioned, the pathfinders of bismuth, arsenic, tellurium, the style of the wall rock alteration adjacent to the veins.
The only difference I see so far, if you were to compare directly to the Pogo mine, at the mine itself the quartz veins that they're mining range between 3 meters and 20 meters thick. So these are big, thick, obvious quartz veins. We had quartz veining. Some of them up to a couple of meters, but lots of zones of stringers and veinlets of quartz and brecciated quartz in gently dipping fault zones.
So we thought visually we were encouraged and thought we'd get a higher grade. But I think maybe that's the difference that we have to focus on. Typically it's going to mean that you're closer to the structure, or the cause of magmatic intrusion. So, that's what we have to look for, for those big thick veins that carry the high-grade gold.
Gerardo Del Real: You mentioned a resumption of the drill program in late May. Has that been approved and signed off on by the State of Alaska?
Greg Beischer: Yep, sure has. We've submitted a plan of operations and we'll be allowed essentially for the drilling crew to mobilize to the state and move directly to the drilling site without interacting with any communities. That way, not risking bringing the virus to any Alaska community. We're doing really well here in Alaska. There's only been a few hundred cases and it's definitely on the downturn right now. We want to keep it that way, and so Millrock's doing its part by having very strong standards on protocols to keep our contractor's personnel, and our own personnel, and the Alaska community safe.
That's all been approved by the State of Alaska. And the only question mark in our minds right now is that the snow has been melting off very rapidly. The road that we built last November is rather mucky right now. We just got to let it drain off a little more, do some rehabilitation on it with our bulldozers, and then we'll get the drill in there and turning again. We're targeting the last week of May. If all goes well, that's when we'll start.
Gerardo Del Real: I mentioned the market rewarding exploration success. The Rupert number was 137.2 meters of 1.8 grams per tonne gold. I wanted to make sure I represented that accurately. With that being said, this is the flagship for Millrock, but you are a project generator. I got to believe with the portfolio you have, Greg, that you worked very diligently during a bear market to put together, I got to believe that you're seeing more activity, more inquiries, more phone calls?
Greg Beischer: Yeah, we sure are indeed. I'm encouraged because they're coming from junior companies. You know, as the gold market has started to take off in very typical fashion, the major gold producers were the first equities to rise. Now the mid-tiers are rising, but then all of a sudden now, especially with these companies' shareholders being rewarded for good drill results, well now the money will really start to flow to the juniors.
And yep, we've got the portfolio of projects that junior explorers can certainly use. They're great projects that could provide immediate drilling success. We've worked hard to get all our portfolio to the point where the project's drill ready. That means the permits and everything, a great geologic target and ready to go. If an incoming junior company wants to fund immediate drill program, they could reward their shareholders with immediate drill hole success. And of course Millrock will be pleased to take large equity stakes in these juniors as part payment for our project.
Gerardo Del Real: It's good to see companies get back to work. It's great that it appears everyone for the most part is doing it safely. Again, all eyes right now are on 64North for obvious reasons. But fingers crossed that the portfolio yields some more activity in the context of being able to give shareholders multiple shots on gold. I know that this district-scale land package has it in spades, and everybody's still expecting a lot, a lot of success here, but always good to spread it out a bit.
Anything you'd like to add to that, Greg?
Greg Beischer: Nope. That's our business models. It's a mutual fund of exploration projects. This particular one is right at the forefront right now, and it will be for years to come because there's so many great prospects and it's such a huge area district that we've acquired. But, yep, we've got a big portfolio and we've taken a lot of time and expense to build it up. And so we're going to make the most of it now that the market is with us.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. Greg, thanks again. Appreciate the time.
Greg Beischer: Likewise, Gerardo. All the best.