There is an old real estate joke: buy land, they are not making it anymore. Or are they? Gordon Lam and his team at Etruscus (ETR.C) have recently reported some results from their 2020 summer exploration program at the Eskay Camp in BC’s resource-rich Golden Triangle. Excellent grab samples with grades as high as 7,013 g/t silver, 12.7 g/t gold, 3.9% zinc, 2.4% lead, and 0.2% copper.
But there was one line in the press release which I had to follow up: “With recently unglaciated terrain, the area is mostly unexplored and has become very prospective for high-grade mineralization.” This means that there is new ground to explore.
Lam went to his geologist, Carl Ryan, who said, “Exploring along the fringes of the glacier provides a unique opportunity to look at rocks that have never been seen before. In an area as well mineralized as the Golden Triangle, this is a very exciting job for a geologist. It’s a huge bonus when these rocks include mineralized veins and return high-grade precious metal values right beside the glacial walls. You can be confident that no one has ever had the opportunity to look at these rocks before.”
In commentary, Ryan wrote, “Glacial retreat on the Rock and Roll property has been extensive in the last 50 years. Currently about ¼ of the property is under glacier although the receding that we can see in historic satellite imagery suggests it is receding up to 10’s of meters every year. This may not seem too big but when you consider the last people to be exploring in this area were in the mid 80’s and early 90’s that gives a large amount of uncovered terrain in a highly prospective area. It’s estimated about 300-400 m of glacial retreat has occurred during this time which is about 3 to 4 football fields. This can be highly variable, however, depending on direction. The tongues of the glaciers would have receded upwards of 2 km’s and the sides of the glaciers might have only receded 100 meters.
The Rock and Roll property is on the fringes of the Andrei Icefield, big enough to be seen from space. This large ice cap also sits in the heart of the Golden Triangle with developed prospects and historic mines sitting all around its periphery. As this glacier melts, Etruscus is able to push further and further into entirely unmapped terrain that they know to be highly prospective. Some glaciers on the property have been shown to have melted as much as 2 km’s over the last 60 years. Strategically, Etruscus Resources has been looking at historic showings that exist near the glaciers edge and have been able to pick up claims for further examination, with a clearer picture of the surrounding geology.
Two new prospects this year on the Rock and Roll extended claim have shown that they were likely under ice in the early 90’s when most of the historic work was completed in the area. A zone of high-grade silver samples at the Thunderstruck Target was likely under ice cover only 10 years ago. The Hurricane Target as well would have been just a sliver of dry land between two large glaciers, and now we have two strong conductors there and open terrain to explore.
The newly uncovered ground is slowly revealing itself. “The Black Dog is a VMS deposit,” said Lam. “VMS deposits tend to form in clusters and we think there might be more. We believe there is another lens on this new ground, just 13 kilometres away.”
As Etruscus searched this new area for additional VMS deposits during the past two seasons, they ‘accidentally’ stumbled on another new discovery nearby with major potential called Thunderstruck. “Surprise! There is a different type of mineralization,” said Lam. “Lots of veins and high silver-gold grades in the samples. It resembles Pretivm’s Brucejack deposit.”
Pretium is now an operating mine in the Golden Triangle. Its deposit was characterized by very high-grade gold veins.
“We are seeing high grade across the whole area,” said Lam. “We think there were a series of geological events at the Hurricane/Thunderstruck area. We have more samples which will be coming back from the lab.”
“We’re also looking forward to results from the Black Dog drilling,” said Lam. “But the labs are very backed up and COVID is not helping.”
While Etruscus waits for its results the company is planning the 2021 drilling and exploration season. “We have over 27,000 hectares and we have flown more than half of it using VTEM and identified exploration targets,” said Lam. “We’ll have news from 2020 in the next few weeks and we can plan our 2021 season based on those results.”
With a market cap of around 10 million dollars, Etruscus has just over 28 million shares outstanding. Its property is in the middle of elephant country where successful exploration can lead to substantial new wealth creation for early investors.
Just ask the early investors in Pretivm (PVG-T), whose Brucejack Mine now in production. With a 2.6 billion dollar market cap. Early days but as its Rock and Roll property is de-risked and further explored, Etruscus shareholders should be in for significant upside surprises.
So, as the glaciers recede, Etruscus is proving that they are making new, prospective ground in BC’s Golden Triangle.