Aben Resources has gold properties in Saskatchewan, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories, but its flagship property is in British Columbia’s hugely prospective, Golden Triangle.
In the upper left-hand corner of British Columbia, there is an imaginary triangle which contains some of the most prolific mines in Canada: Valley of the Kings, Galore Creek, Eskay Creek, SNIP and many more. Gold, silver and copper primarily, with rich, high-grade deposits in some of the least hospitable country in Canada.
As Aben Resources (V.ABN) CEO Jim Pettit lays it out, BC’s Golden Triangle is essentially an area which surrounds the contact zone as between the Jurassic Hazelton Group rock and the Triassic Stuhini Group rock. Aben’s Forrest Kerr Claim package runs 25 kilometres right along this contact zone. To the west, it is constrained by the Forrest Kerr fault which runs parallel to the Hazelton/Stuhini contact zone.
“We know that everything in the area we identified last year, the Boundary North Zone, trends from the northeast to the southwest,” said Pettit. “The system runs downhill to the creek and then up the other side to the Forrest Kerr fault.”
By “everything” Pettit is referring to the Boundary North Zone, where historic drill holes returned values as high as 33.4 g/t Gold over 11m as well as the results from Aben’s first year of field work and drilling in 2017.
Aben reported drill results from the property in October 2017 and Pettit commented in that press release, “The assay results from Aben’s first hole drilled at the Boundary Zone on our flagship Forrest Kerr project are very exciting and illustrate the robust upside potential at the property. The discovery of high-grade, near-surface gold mineralization in hole FK17-04, and the fact that it is a 280-metre step out north of the known historic high-grade gold mineralization at the zone is highly encouraging. Furthermore, the strongest and most extensive gold and copper soil anomalies are present in the relatively untested southern portion of the Boundary Zone.”
In November 2017, Aben reported the rest of the drill holes which included 21.5 g/t Au, 28.5 g/t Ag & 3.1% Cu over 6 metres in the newly discovered Boundary North Zone. In that release, Pettit commented, “The success to date confirms our belief that the discovery of the Boundary North Zone could represent a sizable mineralized hydrothermal system. The Boundary Zone was given the highest priority in terms of potential targets on the Property based on a compilation of historic data completed after the land package was assembled. Given the new and historic high-grade mineralization and numerous untested gold-in-soil anomalies we look forward to returning to the property next year to continue our exploration in order to unlock the full potential of the Boundary Zone.”
“We’ve started drilling again this year at Forrest Kerr,” said Pettit. “There is still snow on the ground. We have a short drill season. We’re starting right where we hit last year.”
The challenge is to figure out the geology and where the mineralization is occurring. “We have big surface anomalies,” said Pettit. “We have areas fed by hydrothermal and we have areas of porphyry. And we have big intrusives.”
Working through the geology means drilling as well as looking at soils. The challenge for Aben is that the drilling season itself is very, very short. “Last year we were unable to start drilling until August,” said Pettit. “We completed the program in early September.”
This year Aben deployed a drill June 21 for a contemplated 18 hole, 5000-meter drill program. “We’re expecting the first results at the end of July,” said Pettit.
Actually doing the drilling and the field work is no small accomplishment. While there is road access to both the north and south ends of the property and power to the southern end, the actual targets are only helicopter accessible. “We usually drill three holes from a pad in a fan,” said Pettit. But all the pads have to be constructed using helicopter-borne materials and the drill and drillers have to be flown in.
“Last year we were at the Alta Gas camp which is on the property and was a great place to be based,” said Pettit. “This year we are staying at the Bob Quinn trailer park. Not quite as nice but a bit cheaper and closer to the site. Which will save us about $100,000 in helicopter costs.”
Because the Forrest Kerr property tracks north to south along the Hazelton/Stuhini contact zone Aben will have multiple targets to drill in order to gain a clearer understanding of the structure of the geology. Obviously, Aben shareholders would love to see high grade over long intervals. Pettit and his VP Exploration, Cornell McDowell, would, no doubt like to see those sorts of results as well. However, the real focus is on defining the structures which will lead to real discoveries.
“We’re looking within two kilometres of the Hazelton/Stuhini contact,” said Pettit. Given historic results and the very encouraging results from Aben’s 2017 program, the company seems to be looking in the right place.