Aben Resources (ABN.V) was in the news again recently, this time reporting progress at its Justin project in the Yukon Territory.

Aben’s flagship asset – its 23,000-hectare Forrest Kerr Gold project – is located in the heart the GOLDEN TRIANGLE of northwestern British Columbia. As many of you may already know, the Triangle plays host to a score of world-class mines and deposits: Eskay Creek, Snip, Galore Creek, Copper Canyon, Schaft Creek, KSM, Granduc, Red Chris (I’d like to include Pretium’s Brucejack deposit to this list, but the jury is still out on that one).

The company’s Justin project is also a highly prospective piece of ground.

Justin, acquired back in 2011, is 18,314 acres of terra firma which ties in nicely with Golden Predator’s (GPY.V) 3 Aces project in the southeast Yukon (above map).

3 Aces is what’s known as an Orogenic gold deposit. These types of deposits were formed during the collision of continental plates, an extreme bit of tectonic violence which gave rise to mountains.

3 Aces Project looking north (image courtesy of Golden Predator’s investor deck).

This collision of plates pushed the rock deep within the Earth’s crust where high temperatures and pressure worked their magic. A metamorphism took place which caused gold-rich fluids to migrate upwards, filling the gaps between cracks, faults, and shears. Gold-bearing quartz veins were the upshot.

Some of the largest gold systems on the planet are orogenic in nature – the California Mother Lode Belt and the Juneau Gold Belt are good examples.

Orogenic settings offer district scale potential.

The style of mineralization at Aben’s Lost Ace Zone is interpreted to be orogenic.

The news:

Aben Resources Uncovers High-Grade Gold at the Justin Project Lost Ace Zone, Yukon Territory

Justin has a number of highly prospective zones.

The company’s 2018 field program was focused on Lost Ace, a gold-bearing zone discovered in 2017.

Lost Ace is located two kilometers west of Aben’s POW Zone where past drill results indicate the potential for bulk-tonnage gold mineralization. Highlights from previous drilling campaigns at POW include intercepts of 1.19 g/t Au over 60.0 meters (including 2.47 g/t Au over 21.0 meters) and 1.49 g/t Au over 46.4 meters.

Drill rig probing the subsurface at Aben’s Justin property in 2012 (ABN’s project page).

As noted above, the mineralization at Lost Ace is interpreted to be orogenic – quartz-gold veins that bear a striking resemblance, geologically, to Golden Predator’s 3 Aces property.

Previous exploration at Justin has successfully discovered Intrusion related sheeted veins & vein breccias along with gold bearing skarn mineralization. The new discovery at Lost Ace highlights the existence of a multi-phase hydrothermal system with the potential for overprinting mineralizing systems.

Work completed in 2018 included the collection of nineteen channel samples, twenty-eight chip samples from five trenches, sixteen rock samples, seven till samples, and 240 soil samples gridded across a large area.

Results from the trenches noted above -TR18-001 through TR18-005 (115 m2) – from the Lost Ace quartz stockwork vein zone include:

  • TR18-001 returned values ranging from trace to an average of 20.8 g/t Au over 4.4 meters, including 88.2 g/t Au over 1.0 meters (visible gold was observed in this one meter sample).
  • The 2018 high-grade samples were collected 127 meters from the 2017 discovery outcrop and within 20 meters from where a bulk soil sample returned 1135 visible gold grains in 2017.
  • TR18-003 returned 0.9 g/t Au over 1.0 meter while three grab samples – excavated from a large quartz boulder in the contact zone – returned 7.3 g/t Au, 3.9 g/t Au and 4.6 g/t Au respectively. Visible gold was noted in one of these samples.
  • TR18-003 was completed as an extension to TR17-004 which returned 4.7 g/t Au over 1.0 meter. This particular trend of quartz stockwork veining has now been exposed over 8.0 meters.

Commenting on the results from this 2018 surface campaign, Mike Burke, P. Geo., and former chief geologist with Golden Predator stated:

“The orogenic style mineralization discovered at Lost Ace shares many characteristics with the orogenic veins discovered at the 3 Aces project. Exploration at 3 Aces has shown the regionally extensive stratigraphic contact in the middle Yusezyu Formation contains consistently highly-anomalous gold values. The discovery of gold mineralization in the upper Yusezyu Formation at Lost Ace suggests newly discovered orogenic gold mineralization could occur over a significant stratigraphic extent between the upper and middle Yusezyu Formation on the Justin Property. In addition, the previously discovered intrusive related gold mineralization at the POW Zone would have intruded through the prospective stratigraphy which hosts the older orogenic mineralization in the district potentially enhancing grades in the intrusion related gold system.”

This new zone at Lost Ace is located at the northern end of a 250 meter gold-in-soil soil anomaly that remains open in all directions. The soil geochemical response may be somewhat muted due to the thick glacial cover in the area. Channel sampling at Lost Ace in 2017 returned 1.44 g/t Au over 5.0 m including 4.77 g/t Au over 1.0 meter.

A bulk soil sample was also taken from the area which yielded 1135 visible grains of gold.

Image from Aben news release dated Jan.14, 2019.

The majority of these gold grains are ‘pristine’, suggesting the bedrock source is nearby.

In addition to the new Lost Ace Zone, several other high-priority exploration targets are located within 1 km of the POW Zone. Defined by geophysics and geochemistry, these targets remain untested and represent significant potential for expanding the current extent of the intrusion related gold system.

The more I learn about this Yukon project, the more I like it.

Meanwhile, next door, Golden Predator continues to aggressively probe its 3 Aces project where it continues to tap new mineralized structures.

Another iron in the fire:

There’s a third project in Aben’s stable that we need to touch on briefly before signing off:

Aben’s Chico Project lies just south of the high-grade Seabee Gold Operation owned by SSR Mining (SSRM.TO) in Northern Saskatchewan.

SSR is hitting the ground hard at Seabee. Note Aben’s property position, in yellow, on the above map.

According to a recent SSR exploration update, infill and exploration drilling at Seebea/Santoy included 35,258 meters in 104 underground holes and 15,390 meters in 61 holes drilled from surface. This is an ambitious drilling campaign.

Highlights from SSR’s program include:

  • Drillhole SUG-18-622 intersected 25.6 g/t gold over 4.1 meters true width.
  • Drillhole SUG-18-612 intersected 12.3 g/t gold over 4.8 meters true width.

Aben is keeping a close eye on SSR’s progress in the area. They’re studying SSR’s discovery model. This should give them an edge when they put boots to the ground in the coming weeks.

Importantly, Chico can be worked year-round which has the potential to generate newsflow while Forrest Kerr and Justin are snowed out for the winter.

Final thoughts:

The Justin project should see a fair amount of activity next season – these new results warrant it.

I suspect Chico will be the next piece of news to drop from the company.

We stand to watch.


~ ~ Dirk Diggler

Full disclosure: Aben Resources is an Equity.Guru marketing client.

Feature image courtesy of thinglink.com

Written By:

Greg Nolan

Greg Nolan is a writer and investor based in Victoria, BC. He's had an extensive career in the resource sector, working with over a dozen reforestation companies before stepping out on his own. He found his niche running high-production crews specializing in logistically challenging helicopter projects on the West Coast of Vancouver Island and the remote coastal inlets of mainland B.C. His focus on environmental resources also extends to mining, having followed resource stocks since his teens. His writings at Equity.Guru reflect his deep understanding of the historical cycles and major players' performances over time within the natural resources sector. Talk to him about the more untamed locales of Western Canada, his book, and all things mining-related.

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