Jim Pettit, President and CEO of Aben Resources Ltd. [ABN-TSX.V; ABNAF-OTCQB; FFE- E2L2] is in the middle of a busy, well planned and fully funded exploration season. Pettit took the time to update Canadian Investor on how Aben’s 2019 exploration programs are progressing.
Justin Gold Project
Aben’s 2019 exploration season was underway in the Yukon at their 100% owned 7,400-hectare Justin Gold Project early in June, as soon as weather would allow. Pettit said the completed, month-long program at the Justin Project included 17 RAB (Rotary Air Blast) drill holes at the Lost Ace Zone. Pettit describes the Lost Ace Zone as an orogenic system of vein structures that appear to contain coarse gold. RAB drilling is a logical and inexpensive way to progress after trenching. Petitt said, “The RAB drill allows us to go a little deeper into the zone as a follow up to our trenching results.”
Highlights from previous trenching at the Lost Ace Zone include:
- Trench TR18-001 returned values ranging from trace to an average of 20.8 grams/tonne (g/t) gold (Au) over 4.4 m, including 88.2 g/t gold (Au) over 1.0 m. Visible gold was observed in the sample returning 88.2 g/t gold (Au).
- The 2018 high-grade samples were collected 127 metres from 2017 discovery outcrop and within 20 metres from where a bulk soil sample returned 1,135 visible gold grains in 2017.
While the RAB drill was working on the Lost Ace Zone, a diamond drill rig completed 963.0 metres in four holes at the POW Zone. Drilling there tested the POW Zone’s younger intrusion related system, which Pettit said, “gives the possibility of lower grade bulk tonnage”. He explained that a lot of the bigger mines in the Yukon and Alaska are similarly intrusion related. Aben reported that, “All four diamond drill holes encountered sulfide mineralization and have now been sent off site for analysis.” Pettit says they expect assay results any day now.
Forrest Kerr Project
The day after the exploration was finished at the Justin Project, Aben started their exploration program on their flagship Forrest Kerr Gold Project in BC’s Golden Triangle. Pettit said the drillers are currently drilling the third hole on Forrest Kerr and are planning a 5,000 metre program with some holes reaching ~ 300 metres in depth. “If we hit something we like, we will do what we did last year and increase the program. Another 5,000 wouldn’t be hard for us to do at all.”
Pettit explained, “We raised quite a bit of money last year on the success of the drill program. By the time we were finished the season last year, we had about $5.5 million in the till. That is what we started with this year. We are in good shape. We can get through this whole season without raising money but if we have success drilling in this current gold market, we are going to get offered money.”
Drilling this year, at the Forrest Kerr Project, will be enhanced by a 173-line kilometre airborne magnetic survey, completed in June, that covered the entire Boundary Zone which has been the company’s focus since 2016. The Boundary Zone has previously returned high-grade results such as 38.7 grams/tonne (g/t) (1.12 oz/t) gold over 10.0 m (from 114.0-124.0 m) including 331.0 g/t (9.65 oz/t) gold over 1.0 m in hole FK18-10.
The company reported, “The 2 km by 5 km survey encompassed a large package of gold-bearing rocks from the Hazelton Group, a lithology that hosts several polymetallic mineral deposits in the region. It is expected that the airborne magnetic survey will effectively delineate subsurface geologic structures that are intimately associated to the high-grade gold mineralization previously discovered at the Boundary Zone.”
About this year’s drilling, Pettit said, “Before we are going to finish up around the Noranda hole. There is a big Geochem anomaly just uphill to the east of the Noranda hole where there is an alteration there that is very interesting. We are working on that one right now; we are drilling under it. Once we are done there, to our satisfaction, we will go down to the South Boundary Zone. It impressed us last year. We think we might have been sort of beside something. We just missed the flank of it. It is a different type of system than the North Boundary Zone. It is polymetallic: zinc, silver, gold, copper. The company reported that, “The magnetic geophysical data has thus far correlated well with geologic surface observations and should help delineate important geologic structures that influence mineralization.”
“We have got a long way to go, said Pettit, “We are at the beginning of another large drill program. We are drilling a little bit deeper a bit longer that last year. The gold we found to the past few years so far was within 125 metres depth. The geophysics are giving us the deeper-seated structures. Where is the gold coming from? That is something we will work out and identify and that is what we are going to get hopefully this season. “
Drilling is progressing well though the weather has been somewhat inclement in the last few weeks which limited the ability of the helicopter to fly. Pettit says, “As far a logging core, it is going well but we are a little backed up because of the weather; the core gets backed up at the drill. The weather as of the last few days has turned pretty good, so we were hauling a lot of core to the core shack. The guys are working overtime catching up.”
Now begins the wait for assay results from both programs. Though results from the Justin Project are expected sooner, results from Forrest Kerr are expected a little later. Pettit said, “Last year at the beginning of the season, (the wait) was probably four to five weeks. In mid season it was six to eight weeks. By the end of the season you are waiting two months for the assays to come back because the lab gets really jammed up. There is a lot going on in BC this year. A lot more this year than last year.”