“I am not your typical CEO,” said Brian “Griz” Testo. “I was a prospector/developer during the Alberta diamond rush. One year I was flying down to PDAC and I met Pam Strand. She introduced me to Mike Dufresne. They told me if I wanted to develop properties the way I thought they should be developed I needed to have my own company. So with their help I started Grizzly Diamonds. Other opportunities came along and we switched the name to Grizzly Discoveries (V.GZD).”
“We got a block of ground near Greenwood BC. Seven years ago it was 220,000 acres but we got rid of the land which was near people’s summer places and now we’re down to 180,000 acres,” said Testo. “That land position is highly prospective.”
The Greenwood ground is interesting for another reason. Kinross Gold’s Buckhorn Gold Mine is only thirteen kilometers away to the south and the Kinross Kettle River Mill is less than 100 kilometres away down an excellent highway. At the moment, the 2000 tons per day capacity Kettle River Mill is idle because Kinross ran out of ore at the Buckhorn mine.
Kinross wanted to explore the land so close to its Buckhorn mine and entered into an earn in Joint Venture on one third of the Greenwood ground. This was a four million dollar commitment and if Kinross spent the 4 million and liked what it saw it would have a right to own 75% of the land involved in the deal.
In 2017 Kinross drilled on its section of the property. They hit mineralization and plan to continue drilling in 2018.
At the same time, Grizzly is looking for a major resource of at least 1.5 million ounces on the land it has retained an interest in.
“On our Ket 28 project we hold 80% and the prospector has a carried interest of 20%. Ket was drilled in 2011 and we had one hole which ran 8.91 gpt over 6 meters. Historically, there was a hole which had 52.18 gpt over 3.3 meters.”
In a March 6, 2018 press release, Grizzly announced that it was planning on focusing its 2018 drilling on the Ket 28 prospect, “The Company has submitted an application to the BC Ministry of Mines to conduct drilling and other exploration at the Ket 28 target with approximately 2,500 m in 10 to 12 drill holes planned for 2018. The proposed drill program will target the gold-prospective zone in the central portion of the Ket 28 target area, with the intention of developing a maiden mineral resource estimate and expanding the currently defined limits of gold mineralization. The initial Ket 28 drill program is expected to cost approximately $500,000 and is subject to financing.”
Moving to a 43-101 resource estimate would be a big step towards de-risking the Ket 28 prospect. If the results are encouraging Grizzly could move forward towards mining the prospect itself or creating a joint venture. The material could be trucked to the Kinross mill or to two other mills which are within trucking distance.
The other element which Grizzly is looking for on its property is cobalt. “When we first drilled we were not really thinking about cobalt,” said Testo. “But in September we went back through the samples and realized there was cobalt.” With the current surge in interest in cobalt, Grizzly is actively looking for a partner to take a look at its cobalt assets.
Add to that cobalt and the BC gold prospects two other property packages: a 43-101 compliant resource on diamond properties in Northern Alberta and a potash property and it is clear Grizzly has a lot of potential value. But that value needs to be brought to the market’s attention.
“We have a 43-101 Technical Report on our Greenwood property,” said Testo. “Now we want to do the step out drilling which would prove up a 43-101 resource report on the property. And for that we have to have funding.”
Going to the market with a private placement is an option, “But we’d like to see the shares a bit higher before we do that,” said Testo.
Grizzly is all about squeezing the last value out of the dollars it does have. “No one takes a salary,” said Testo. “Our CFO is paid but takes care of all the accounting, the regulatory filings and so on. Everyone else has options.”
The company itself is closely held with management and “friends and family” holding well over 60% of the shares. It is a structure which will give the company the time it needs to fully develop the properties it holds. It is also a structure which ensures that success – whether that is a decision by Kinross to build a mine or Grizzly joint venturing part of the Greenwood prospect or one of its other opportunities – will translate into substantial gains for all of its shareholders.