The Investing News Network caught up with James Pettit, president and CEO of Aben Resources (TSXV:ABN), at the recent International Metal Writers Conference in Vancouver. Aben is a Canadian gold exploration company developing projects in BC, the Yukon and Saskatchewan.
Pettit said over 100 holes have been drilled at Aben’s flagship Forrest Kerr project in BC’s Golden Triangle over the last two decades, while about 20,000 soil and rock samples have been taken. Over the course of eight months, the company consolidated all of the historical data for the property, and that has helped identify 20 to 30 drill targets. This year, Aben expects to focus on drilling three to four of those targets.
According to a recent news release, the company is aiming to have an exploration team arrive on site in the third week of June to begin fieldwork, including surface sampling. Aben has also applied to the BC Ministry of Energy and Mines for a multi-year permit.
Aben also has an option agreement with Eagle Plains Resources (TSX:EPL) to earn an 80-percent interest in the Chico property in Saskatchewan. Additionally, the company has a 100-percent interest in the Justin project located in the Yukon, southeast of a project held by Golden Predator Mining (TSXV:GPY). Aben’s 100-percent-owned Hit property is also located in the Yukon.
In terms of the gold market, James Pettit said gold has performed exactly as people thought it would, and he believes it will go higher.
The transcript for this interview can be found below.
INN:I was listening to your presentation yesterday and you have three different projects underway, right?
JP: Yes, we do. Aben has three projects that are basically stand alone on their own merit. I’ve brought the three together because we want to be able to work most of the year, rather than just four months, say as the Golden Triangle is somewhat limited. So, you’ve got the Golden Triangle Project which is surrounded by a lot of heavyweights, that’s what I would call it. It’s a real elephant country up there. That’s going to take most of our time and effort this year, but Saskatchewan, that property is called the Chico Property. It’s basically right where Silver Standard (NASDAQ:SSRI,TSX:SSO) just acquired all their ground. So, it’s on the same structural formation as the Tabbernor Fault. Splays coming off that is what creates the deposits that they have. We’re going to be looking at the same thing later this year and drilling up there later this year. Probably after the Golden Triangle’s finished. And then, up in the Yukon, we’ve got the Justin Project which is actually tied right on to Golden Predator. We had a discovery there back in the days of the Yukon when it was flying high about 6/7 years ago. And we need to go back and drill more. And that I think will probably have planned for next year. But we did drill in 2007, 12 holes and we hit gold mineralization in 10 of the 12. And it’s looking like a big intrusive related gold system that needs more work and attention. But, we can do that next year. We’re good until 2022 up there.
INN: And so, what are some of the latest developments? The Forrest Kerr project is the flagship project, that’s the one in BC, right?
JP: Yes, the Forrest Kerr, I acquire those last year, right about now. There were three properties that basically encompass the whole fault. This is a curve fault, it’s right in the heart of the Golden Triangle. It’s a major structural feature that probably acts like an engine for everything. Like, it’s… it’s… really an obvious structure. It’s been held in semi-private hands for 30 years, one of the… it consists its three properties. One of them was public, the other two are private. I consolidate them basically for… I got to spend three million dollars over 5 years. I could probably do that this summer. It’s a good deal. The guys that own the land have and have the underlying interest, are really keen to see something happen there. They’re all, well I don’t want to say old timers, but they’ve been in that area for a very long time. They’re all geologists, they all want to see something happen. So, I think this is a great fit for us. As a matter of fact, when we acquired it last year, stock went from 7 cents to 34 cents. Just on that news. I didn’t work last year. We, you know, we’re still trying to tie everything up, loose ends, etcetera. By the time I sent a field crew in, it would’ve been September already.
INN: Can you go in to some of the reserves and the grades that you’ve found?
JP: Well, one thing that you really need to look for when you’re looking for an exploration project, you want historic information attached to what you’re doing. And Rick Rule will tell you that and Brent Cook will tell you that. This has got over a hundred holes drilled over the last three decades. It’s got about 20 thousand soil and rock samples. And what we’ve done is consolidate it into a big GIS study. On regional scale, rather than a property scale because each property would keep their information to themselves. Now you’ve got… now you’ve got a package. It took us 8 months to consolidate everything and put it into one database, and it’s impressive as heck. We literally have 20 to 30 targets. We’ve prioritized everything. And we’re going after the top 3 or 4, depending on time this year. And I think, you know, it it’s pretty safe to say that the old historic holes for example, from Noranda, they’re running eleven meters of 30 and a half grams, that type of thing. There’s lots of that in that area. But they actually walked away from it because it wasn’t the right geologic model for them. Everybody was looking for an Eskay Creek style deposit, VMS. This could well be more of an intrusive structurally-controlled deposit. Different times, right? More technology involved today. We’ve got another area that Kiska drilled. It’s about 27 meters of 10 grams. I would’ve stayed there for a while and been drilling there. But, they just, they kept moving on too. You know, with the help of those past geologists, we’re on to something. I think we’ve got some areas there that we can exploit fairly easily.
INN: Right. Any thoughts on the gold market?
JP: Well, you know, I was in New York couple of months ago and over to Europe. I’m on the flight heading over and I’m looking at this just a news article in the Financial Post. About three of the top mutual fund groups in the world, the big ones: Fidelity and McKenzie, they basically were setting up gold hedge funds. Because, they just think Donald Trump is so chaotic. Is that the right word? You know, that he’s good for gold and that there could be a possibility of you know, sudden movements in the gold market because of things he says or does. I mean, I was really quite impressed with that and then when I got to New York, that’s all anybody was talking about. I get to Europe and everybody’s excited about gold. They still are. Even though you know the price is packed. The gold price is done exactly what a lot of people were expecting it to do. They had a run, it’s comeback. It’s been supported at the level roughly where it is right now. And I think it will go higher.
INN: Great. Anything else you want to add?
JP: No. Well, other than have a look at the stock, go to the website. I encourage you to do that and buy some stock.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Shaw, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.
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