It is a short exploration and drilling season in BC’s Golden Triangle. Jim Pettit, CEO of Aben Resources (V.ABN), knows the company has only four or five months to accomplish its program. Aben’s property is in the North Coastal Mountains where 30 or even 40 feet of snow could fall. “Winter drilling is possible,” said Pettit, “But it is a logistical nightmare and really, really expensive.”
Aben’s season at its Forrest Kerr project started off with a bang when it drilled a hole at the area it refers to as “Northern Boundary” which had four different intercepts including 6 meters of 62 gpt gold within an intercept of 10 meters grading at 38 gpt.
“It was a “discovery hole”,” said Pettit. “The markets liked it.”
The August 9, 2018, release sent Aben shares on a run. They hit $.45 by August 28. Pettit has been around the business long enough to know that the time to raise money is when the market loves the company and Aben went to the market and raised $4.25 million dollars in a financing led by Eric Sprott who became a strategic shareholder. The boost the discovery hole gave Aben’s shares also meant that warrants were being exercised putting more money into the company’s coffers. And Aben raised an additional $950,000 in a flow-through financing at $0.40 with no warrant.
Along with the high grades, the early holes of the 2018 program were all quite shallow. “The discovery hole was under last year’s drilling,” said Pettit. “We did 40-meter stepouts and we hit in six out of eight holes. Plus, they were all within 120 meters of surface.”
Which did not come as a surprise to Pettit. “We’re there for a reason,” said Pettit. “We put together properties from three companies. We have to spend 3 million dollars and issue 7 million shares and we’ll own 100%. We got all their data and we put it together in one regional report. We made a priority list of targets and we are still on target #1.”
One of the attractions of Target #1 is that it is the northern extent of a historic region geochemical survey and has an outcrop Aben sampled. That outcrop sample came in at 50 gpt. The other attraction is that the Target is in close proximity with a hole drilled by Noranda in 1991. That historic hole had 10 meters of 34 gpt gold.
“We’re closing the gap to the Noranda hole,” said Pettit. “The way we are set up we can drill a hole every two shifts so it goes fast.”
So fast that there are 24 holes left to report on the Northern Boundary. In fact, Aben shifted its drills to another target called “South Boundary” as it waited for the North Boundary assays needed to help guide the program.
“We had done geo-chemical and geo-physical work and there was historical geo-physical as well,” said Pettit. “We knew that there was something there. And we wanted to wait for assays on the North Boundary holes to figure out where to drill next.”
Shifting to the South Boundary target, Aben drilled three holes. “We found a broad zone of mineralization,” said Pettit. “Bang on with my expectations. There is no visible gold in the core. But the tenor of the gold was amazing.”
“Next year we’ll have a couple of new drill pads and more drilling at the Southern Boundary,” said Pettit. “This is a big area. 6 kilometres North-South, 2 kilometres East-West. We’ll have 38 holes and 10,000 meters of drilling. Plus geo-chemical analysis from the late ‘80s early ‘90s. An airborne survey with 50 meter line spacings and extended soil samples. We know the gold came from somewhere. But where?”
“Right now the Golden Triangle has the attention of the investment community,” said Pettit. “It’s an area play with 20 drill rigs and a lot going on. Our shares respond to other people’s news.”
Because of the short season at Forrest Kerr, Aben is also able to look at advancing its other projects. The company’s Justin project is right beside Golden Predator’s 3 Aces property in South Eastern Yukon.
“This was discovered as an intrusive related gold system in 2011. We now call it The Lost Ace,” said Pettit. “We did a fourteen day program to gain a better understanding of the system. As an intrusive system, it is like the Fort Knox mine in Alaska and many others in the Tintina belt. These can have epithermal and hydrothermal elements related to them. We’ll have an update in mid-November. We might have the engine which powers 3 Aces.”
Because Justin is inland, there is a good possibility of doing work earlier in the season and working later. However, realistically, at this point, there won’t be much activity until late March.
Which brings Pettit to Aben’s third project in Northern Saskatchewan. “This is on the southern edge of the SSR Mining Fisher holdings,” said Pettit. “We’re looking at drilling 1500 to 2000 meters on our property. Geophysics is already completed. We can drill here in January, February and March.”
The property itself is associated with a structure known as the Tabinor Fault. A structure that extends from the SSR Mine to the north and south to the Dakotas where the Homestake mine is located..
With money in the bank, a flagship property in the hottest North American gold district generating assay news and two highly prospective properties, Pettit and Aben are ready to take advantage in any upturn in the gold price or the junior resource market.