Things are heating up in BC’s Golden Triangle, literally. The snowpack has been light this year allowing ExplorerCos early access to this world-class destination for precious metals.
Early access means steel toe boots on the ground, instead of snowshoes and mukluks. It means more rotations of the core bit, more targets tested, more resources delineated, and potentially, more discoveries.
Aben Resources (ABN.V) just dropped news announcing their intention to take full advantage of these accommodating conditions, adding one full month to their 2019 exploration season.
The company is kicking things off in early June at their Justin project in the Yukon Territories. That’ll set the stage for the mobilization of a drill rig to the company’s flagship Forrest Kerr project a few weeks later.
These are exciting for the company and its shareholders. Newsflow promises to be steady as the company hits the ground hard, and early.
The Justin project
Justin is 18,314 acres of prospective terra firma that shares a common boundary with Golden Predator’s (GPY.V) 3 Aces project in the southeast Yukon.
Justin has no shortage of targets to test, or zones that require follow-up drilling.
The company’s 2018 field program was focused on Lost Ace, a gold-bearing structure discovered in 2017.
A 2018 Lost Ace trenching program returned values ranging from trace to 20.8 g/t gold over 4.4 meters, including 88.2 g/t gold over 1.0 meter.
Lost Ace is interpreted to be an orogenic type geological setting. Some of the largest gold systems on the planet are orogenic – the California Mother Lode Belt and the Juneau Gold Belt are good examples.
Golden Predator, Aben’s neighbor to the north, explains the orogenic model in detail:
Lost Ace is located two kilometers west of Aben’s POW Zone where past drill results indicate bulk-tonnage gold potential.
Highlights from previous drilling 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.
Plans for the upcoming field season include:
- 600 meters of RAB drilling (up to 20 holes) at the high grade orogenic Lost Ace Zone;
- 1350 meters of diamond drilling (up to 10 holes) to further test the intrusion related gold system discovered in 2010 at the POW Zone;
- Additional target generating field efforts including prospecting, geologic mapping and surface sampling;
- Testing for the existence of a multi-phase hydrothermal system with the potential for overprinting mineralizing systems within the POW Zone.
There are two types of drill rigs are about to be mobilized to the Justin project. If you’re new to the gold exploration arena, the following link will help explain the difference between RAB and diamond drilling:
Mike Burke, P. Geo., and former chief geologist with Golden Predator Mining Corp:
“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.”
Forrest Kerr, Aben’s flagship project, is located right smack dab in the middle of monster country.
The crossed pick ax symbols represent major deposits in the region. Note the scale on the above map, note Aben’s Forrest Kerr project, and note its proximity to Eskay Creek, a discovery that lit up the Vancouver Stock Exchange like the Fourth of July back in the day.
The mineralization at the North Boundary zone is structurally controlled and hosted in a package of volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks from the Jurassic Hazelton Group.
“The Boundary Zone lies between the Forrest Kerr Fault to the west, a major deep-seated crustal feature, and the unconformable contact between the Jurassic Hazelton Group and the Triassic Stuhini Group to the East. The rock reflects a prolonged history of strong hydrothermal activity combined with brittle deformation. The host package Hazelton is known to be a prolific host to several deposits throughout the region.”
We talked about this unique geological feature in a previous Guru offering:
The line of intrigue – The Kyba ‘Red Line’:
The Golden Triangle has been active for decades. The Premier Mine, one of the more storied of the regions historical mines, began production early in the last century. The geological genesis of the Triangle’s porphyry and intrusion-related copper and gold deposits have been wrapped in mystery since those early days.
A few years back, Jeff Kyba and Joanne Nelson from the B.C. Geological Survey embarked on a quest to identify the geological / topographical markers responsible the Triangle’s impressive orebodies – the identity of which they hoped would help shed light on the extremely rich (and pervasive) subsurface mineralization of the region.
What they discovered changed the way geologists now view this uber-rich gold and copper district.
Jeff Kyba hypothesized that the geologic contact between the regions Triassic age Stuhini rocks and Jurassic age Hazelton rocks plays host to many of the world-class copper-gold deposits in the Triangle. Curiously, Kyba’s research revealed that the majority of these deposits lie within two kilometers of this regional stratigraphic contact point.
Two kilometers from this regional stratigraphic contact – the Kyba Red Line – is the Golden Triangle’s sweet spot.
Last summer, drill hole FK18-10 tagged a significant new discovery at North Boundary highlighting the high-grade potential of this 23,000-hectare property.
FK18-10 discovery hole:
- Four separate high-grade zones intersected all within 190 meters downhole.
- Highest-grade intercept consisted of 331.0 g/t gold (9.65 oz/t) over 1.0 meter within a broader zone averaging 38.7 g/t gold (1.12 oz/t) over 10.0 meters from 114.0-124.0 meters. This included an interval of 62.4 g/t gold over 6.0 meters (true thicknesses undetermined).
- Additional high-grade zones within the same hole included 22.0 g/t gold, 22.4 g/t silver over 4.0 meters; 3.9 g/t gold, 4.0 g/t silver over 13.0 meters; and 8.2 g/t gold, 1.4 g/t silver over 6.0 meters.
Plans for the 2019 field season
- Early drilling will test the potential for a northward extension of the high-grade mineralized core at the North Boundary Zone;
- Early drilling will also test for the potential connectivity of the North Boundary Zone with the 1991 high-grade Noranda hole approx. 200 meters to the south;
- Drilling will also further test the polymetallic occurrence at the South Boundary Zone where broad intercepts of gold-silver-copper-zinc were encountered in 2018;
- Airborne mag survey to be conducted over entire Boundary Zone before drilling starts this year;
- New pad locations will allow Aben to further test with greater certainty and confidence locations that may have been drilled last year but were constrained by the limited angles and pad locations and will be able to test many new targets based off the new geophysical survey as well as the existing geochemical survey with greater confidence.
If the company is successful in connecting the dots, if they can establish continuity between FK18-10 and the historic 1991 Noranda hit 200 meters to the south (.5 meters of 326 g/t Au), they’ll be well on their way to delineating a significant high-grade resource at North Boundary.
The South Boundary Zone will also see a proper probe with the drill bit this season. Here, broad intercepts of polymetallic mineralization in quartz veins were encountered during first pass drilling.
I know management is eager to get back to South Boundary. Keep an eye on newflow out of this zone.
Good science and a new target
An airborne magnetic survey will be conducted in late May across the entire Boundary Zone – an area measuring in excess of 2.0 km x 4.0 km. The magnetic geophysical data generated from this survey will light up important geologic structures that are known to influence mineralization. With this data in hand, Aben’s technical team can then focus on areas with the greatest potential for new discoveries.
“In addition to the exploration activities at the Boundary Zone, Aben anticipates that a high priority target identified in the Forrest Zone (located 13 km south of Boundary) will also be drill tested this summer. The area of interest at Forrest is defined by highly anomalous gold-in-soil and gold-in-rock values coincident with a strong geophysical conductive anomaly originally reported in 2013.”
It’s important to re-emphasize that last years drilling campaign at Forrest Kerr was hampered by access and drill pad location restrictions.
With a structurally controlled project like Forrest Kerr, with its proximity to the major fault and the sub-faults it created, there’s a lot of overprinting, that is, there were numerous mineralizing events that had all kinds of fluids pushing their way in over time. Having the flexibility to position your drill bit just so, to cut through the noise and home in on the meatiest targets, is critical, especially after tagging a discovery like FK18-10.
Aben was unable to position its rigs exactly where it needed to last season. That situation no longer exists.
“With a new 5-year Multi-Year Area Based (MYAB) exploration permit in hand, which allows for 55 drill sites and helicopter pads, Aben Resources is excited for another productive season of mineral exploration at the Forrest Kerr Property.”
The 2019 drilling campaign at Forrest Kerr will be watched closely by the market. Additional insights into Aben’s prospects can be found by tapping the following links:
We’re all looking for a home run when we speculate in this arena. There’s nothing more satisfying than knocking one out of the park.
It’s impossible to predict how things will play out this season, but Aben has one of the most experienced crews in the sector and two highly prospective projects.
And the drills are about to turn.
We stand to watch.
~ ~ Dirk Diggler
Full disclosure: Aben is an Equity Guru marketing client. We own the stock.