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Aldebaran Resources (TSX-V: ALDE)(OTC: ADBRF) CEO John Black on Long Runs of Copper Mineralization at Altar
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the CEO of Aldebaran Resources, Mr. John Black. John, an interesting couple of weeks. How are you today?
John Black: I'm doing well Gerardo. It's always a pleasure to talk with you.
Gerardo Del Real: Thanks for coming on. You had some news and let me read the headline and I'll let you provide the context because you and your team are as good, technically as anyone out there. The headline reads:
Aldebaran Intercepts 63 m of 0.94% CuEq and 584 m of 0.52% CuEq in Hole ALD-21-217 at the Altar Project
I will get out of the way and allow you to provide the context. And then I'll fire some questions at you, because there's a couple of things in the release that stood out to me.
John Black: Okay, great. Fantastic. Yeah, these are the first two holes from this drill campaign. Much of this campaign was really designed to compile all the data, collect the final data we need to be able to really understand the program to go forward and put out our new resource update, which we spoke about a few months ago on this. But we did complete four long holes into the program this year, and these are the first two of four total holes that we'll have out. Then, the next release will come out in approximately a month, three to four weeks from now, when we get the results on those final two holes. All of these are designed as long holes to test for potential for extensions to the known mineralization we've already defined and of these first two holes, the one that's really the one that catches the eye is hole 217.
And there are two important intervals in that there's that upper interval of 0.93 mineral... 0.94% mineralization about 63 meters of that. The important thing on that is that that is secondary copper mineralization. It's a secondary sulfite blanket on the upper portion of the deposit. We highlighted that when we put out the mineral resource two months ago, that we have this upper zone of secondary copper mineralization. And the important thing about that when we flagged that is, is that's mineralization that could be processed either by conventional milling and concentration, or it could potentially be processed by SX/EW; lower cost heap leach technology. At this stage, we're not at a point where we're making a decision, but it's nice that it gives us that optionality. It presents the chance that we could develop a project that would have a low cost SX/EW starter on the project produces copper on site. You eliminate the necessity to transport a concentrate out to the coast, which would be either a long way to the east coast or through Chile to the west.
And so it gives us some flexibility on how a project might be started. And so it's confirmed what we already saw in the resource calculation on that. And then the lower portion of the hole hit this nice run of over 500 meters of a little better than a half percent copper. Within that there are zones that are better grades. The top 158 meters of that is a little over 0.7% copper. So, that's in an area that we previously didn't have much drilling in. So it's opened up the size of the deposit to depth and shown that we have some pretty good grades in portions of that. So it'll certainly require quite a bit more drilling around that area in the future.
And that hole is in what we call the Altar Central deposit. Our current deposit consists of Altar Central and Altar East. The next two holes will be an additional hole in Altar Central. And then we'll also report a hole from the QDM Radio area off to the west, where we have some of our most encouraging results to date. It's an area that's not yet a resource, but we need additional drilling. So we're putting a hole in there to test our ideas on the controls on those better grade mineralization. So we're particularly anxious to see the results of the next batch of drilling as well.
Gerardo Del Real: That's a great stopping point for 217, because my question actually... You answered the first one in regards to the arsenic and the supergene mineralization, but I did want to touch on the fact that some of the best grades you highlight... That the hole ended in some of the best grades, including high grade molybdenum. And you mentioned there that the current interpretation is that the high grade moly indicates the hole drilled down the shoulder or outer rim of a potential new porphyry center that has yet to be discovered. You've seen many of these. You've discovered many of these. I also know you to be very conservative in news releases. So, for you to highlight that kind of stood out to me. Could you give a little context there?
John Black: Yeah. This is something that Kevin Heather, our chief Geological Officer is particularly excited about, is that that very bottom of the hole is elevated copper, but very elevated moly. This is over 0.12% moly, which is a pretty interesting number on that.
And when we often see the molybdenum is more concentrated in the flanks of deposits. And so this is one point now we're going to have to integrate our new geophysical data that we completed this year with our existing magnetic data and see if we can see which direction... We know we're potentially on the edge of something, but which direction do we go from here? We could do it by brute force next field season when we'll have more rigs and more drilling going on, but we'll do our best to see if we can use the data we have to predict the best direction to go. But it's certainly one that begs for us to offset this hole and look for the rest of the system.
Gerardo Del Real: Fantastic. So definitely follow-up drilling plan. You referenced that in the release as well, right?
John Black: Yes.
Gerardo Del Real: Perfect. And let's talk hole 218, which was drilled at Altar East. Thoughts there, because you said it effectively closes off the higher grade mineralization to the north at Altar East.
John Black: It appears to. There, we had a little bit more of the deeper drilling showing some of the encouraging mineralization that's below the current tip right now. And we took a step off to the north to see if we could chase it in that direction. We had some ideas that it would rake off and trend in that direction. And there is mineralization, but it's lower grade mineralization. So it didn't completely cut it off. But what we're seeing is that our grade is dropping off in that direction. So it kind of indicates that that direction isn't the direction to go to expand the deposit. It'll add resource; it'll add material there. But it's not improving in that direction the way we'd hoped to. So there will continue to be additional drilling in other directions off of that hole. But that's one that came back a little bit lower than we expected to, but still well mineralized over a long run.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. You mentioned a plan for the next drilling campaign, the expectation, which is, it'll be larger in scale and scope. I hate to ask how much larger, because I sense that you're going to give me a "we don't know yet, because we have a lot of data to put together before we can answer that question." But I'm going to ask anyway, just for kicks.
John Black: Yeah. And it's subject to approval through our board, and other things like that. So the process will be on this, is that we'll use all of the data we've been collecting over the last couple of years and the new resource model that we've put out as well as information we glean from these holes that we've completed this year. They're designed to test specific hypotheses we have on controls on the mineralization. And that'll let us plan the program for next year. The past couple of seasons we've been drilling on the order of five or six thousand meters per year. Next year we'd anticipate we would be double or triple that easily, if not more. And we'll really be in a position where we've gathered all the basic data we need to understand the system better. And it's time to really hit the drilling component of that hard.
So I don't have an exact number on that. It will be most likely on a minimum of 10 and probably quite a bit more, a thousand meters than that. And more than the two rigs we've been using this year. The other important part of this is that we anticipate we'll be able to get in earlier next year. Our field season this year started after the new year. Next year, we plan to come in in October. So late this calendar year, next field season for the project. We'll be opening the camp up in October and getting in just as early as we can to commence that drilling. So we'll get a much longer season and we're better prepared. We understand the system better and we'll have the targets we need to hit defined to move forward.
Gerardo Del Real: An important distinction there. When you say next year, you mean the next drill season year, correct?
John Black: Next field season. So in October and in a few months. And our processes is that we'll use the next couple of months to put together all the information we have; prepare our program. And then we typically present that to our board and to our partners, Sibanye, in late August, early September. And so about early September, look for us to be announcing approved meterages and size of program that we'll go forward with.
Gerardo Del Real: Looking forward to that, looking forward to the details and looking forward to the assays of the remaining two holes. Anything to add to that, John?
John Black: Nope. I think it's a good time to be in Argentina right now. We've seen some of our neighbors have some pretty exciting results coming out. And it's interesting that in this world that we find with elevated copper prices, and many have reasons to believe that copper will be in demand for a long time. Many of the undeveloped copper projects are actually located in Argentina and Argentina is improving their conditions to allow us to explore, whereas some of the other neighboring countries are a little more challenging right now. So it's a good place to be, good results coming from neighbors, perfect time for us to be announcing this. And you'll see us ramping up information to be presented to the market on the project. We hope to announce in the next couple of weeks and we'll have an OTC listing in the states, which gives easier access for investors that live in the states to see us on that. So they'll start to see us become more visible, particularly as we put out this next batch of drill results, and we get ready to announce the aggressive campaign later in the year.
Gerardo Del Real: John, thank you so much for the update.
John Black: Okay. Thank you, Gerardo. Look forward to catching up with you in a few weeks.
Gerardo Del Real: All right. Chat soon. Bye now.
John Black: Okay. Cheers.Click here to see more from Aldebaran Resources