Alianza Minerals (TSX-V: ANZ) CEO Jason Weber on Pending Assays from Horsethief Gold Property in Nevada & Appointment of New VP of Exploration
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the President and CEO of Alianza Minerals (TSX-V: ANZ)(OTC: TARSF), Mr. Jason Weber. Jason, how are you?
Jason Weber: Doing very well, Gerardo. Nice to talk to you again.
Gerardo Del Real: It's good to have you back on. It's been a few weeks. Gold is convincingly now over $2,000, trading at about $2,030 as we speak. Silver is flirting with the $30 level. You have finished, I believe, the drilling program at Horsethief. You had some important news as well here earlier today.
I wanted to talk about both, the completed drill program and the pending assays and, of course, the appointment of a new VP of Exploration, a well-known name in the space. Can you provide some context?
Jason Weber: Yeah. It's been, obviously, a really busy time for us. When you're looking at the opportunities that are in front of you when you come into a bull market –we have a pretty good project portfolio, but I'm always looking to add to it. With that, when you add to the portfolio, you also have to start looking for partners for the projects in it. Bringing Rob on to help out in that respect is really going to allow us to just do more with our business model, both bring in new projects, build that pipeline up, but also find partners to fund exploration on those projects. Of course, the ultimate goal is making a discovery.
The more active exploration projects we have on the go, the better it is for shareholders, the more opportunities we get for discovery. Bringing Rob on made complete sense. My plate was full. Bringing Rob on now just gives us that extra ability to generate ideas, take advantage of opportunities.
Gerardo Del Real: For those that aren't familiar with Rob Duncan, can you provide a little bit of his background? Cause with Mr. Duncan, we're talking over three decades, if I'm not mistaken, of experience in the space.
Jason Weber: Yeah. I've known Rob for a very long time. We actually worked together back in the late 2000s at Rimfire Minerals. We brought Rob on to be, essentially, our second VP of Exploration there. His title was Manager of Exploration. He was earlier in his career, obviously. He basically split the VP with our Vice President of Exploration at the time. Rob's a very, very smart Geo. He's been involved in exploration at all levels. He's been involved with taking projects through the environmental assessment process and he's run grassroots early-stage projects.
I think probably most important to me is he's very familiar with the project generator business model, and understanding what kind of projects you need, and what kind of projects the prospective partners are going to want to see and then having that ability to present the data to attract somebody like that. Rob he's got a Master of Science and Geology degree from UBC. A very smart guy, lots of experience. As I said, personally I've known Rob for a very long time so it's a great fit for us.
Gerardo Del Real: Speaking of projects, drilling completed at Horsethief. I got to believe you're excited. I know there's a lot of eyes on the stock and waiting for results. How is that coming along and how do you feel about the program?
Jason Weber: I think we've got lots of encouragement from the holes we've drilled so far. The first three holes were from the Horsethief North and Horsethief South target areas, which were the areas that had previously been drilled by other operators back in the '80s. We knew that there was "smoke," low-grade gold intersections over feet and meters in width. Our hope was that below that mineralization it might be indicating a bigger, potentially economic gold deposit. In the drilling, so far that has not been the case.
We've only got part of the results. We've got the gold numbers for the first three holes. We don't have any of the multi-element ICP, which is where the vector elements come in for us. So, these are the elements that might be associated with gold mineralization; arsenic, moly, antimony, some of these other metals that will help point us to a hotter part of the system.
When we get that data, that's when we can start looking at what we've done and say, "Okay, we need to move this direction, or it's deeper, lateral." that sort of thing. With the 10 holes we've drilled, they're really widely spaced. We're really testing a large area of the property. The fact that we didn't get an ore body in these two areas really doesn't concern me at all. We've got lots of room to host.
We've tested five target areas. What we really needed to see, especially on the holes to the east of these three that we've reported so far, is that one, the carbonate package that hosts the targets Horsethief North and Horsethief South is continuous to the east. We know it outcrops again in the Stallion area in the very eastern edge of the project. We can see that in outcrop. Underneath the volcanic covering, in the more central part of the property, geophysics data told us the carbonates were to be found at depth. We had to drill that to find out. We did. They're altered. We do see some pyrite mineralization in some of those carbonates.
Those are all very encouraging signs that one, the system's got some size, it's continuous over a large area. It gives us lots of room to look. When you start piecing it all together, once we get all the data, we should have a better idea of how to vector, where to go, what to follow up on. For us, a successful drill program is getting a good hit on one or two holes. Then we build off that.
We're still very, very encouraged about what we've seen in the remaining 7 holes. It's a really neat geologically area. We're seeing some really interesting things in the drilling. I'm really excited to see what the remaining holes bring. But the nature of this deposit type is that we aren't likely to see visible gold. It's really going to be, we take in what we can see out of the drilling and the lab tells us that it's gold-bearing or not. It's very difficult to predict until we get a handle on the system. At this point, it's really tougher to predict how well something's going to run or not. But we know there's a gold-bearing system there. It's just how big is it going to be? How can we vector on it? But I can say it's been pretty interesting seeing the different holes and the different areas and some of the differences amongst them.
Gerardo Del Real: The pending assays you're anticipating in the next week or two. Is that correct?
Jason Weber: Well, I wish I could say that with certainty, Gerardo. When we first talked to the labs they were talking a month turnaround. Then last week when I talked to them, they were saying 6 weeks turnaround. Our first set of results was actually more than 6 weeks. Between lab shutdown and COVID and everything, they're really behind the 8 ball and trying to get things caught up. They have said they are running 24/7 shifts now with efficiency to try to bring back some of that backlog. August 15th is the absolute earliest we could see any results in our hands. We have to do our QA/QC and that sort of thing on them. I'm thinking later in August is really more realistic.
Gerardo Del Real: So it sounds like sit tight.
Jason Weber: Yeah. It's frustrating because we had hoped originally when we designed this program that we'd actually have some results in hand that we'd be able to vector off of. We're done our 10 holes, we've packed up, drill's on to its next job and we hadn't even seen a result yet. That's just the way it goes. When the gold price started to move, other companies were able to finance. It really created a sort of a landslide of analytical work for the lab. So it's created backup. It's one of the offshoots of having a long down period where the labs all scale back, and not just labs but other associated businesses that rely on exploration. When it starts up again this always happens. There's a crush at the services level, and you have to find a way through it.
Gerardo Del Real: Fantastic. Jason, before I let you go, can we speak a bit to the rest of the portfolio? Because with gold being where it's at, silver where it's at, and where it's likely headed, which I believe is higher. There's going to be a premium for quality projects and quality teams with talented and experienced technical people. Alianza is not short on either of those.
Can you just speak to those that are new to this story about the rest of the portfolio and what's there?
Jason Weber: Speaking of silver, we have our 100%-owned Haldene high-grade silver project in the Keno district of the Yukon, which we were just this morning discussing a potential program, what that might look like up there. We have the luxury of time. Even though it's the Yukon, we have good road access. I know of programs that have run right to the end of November up there. We have that luxury there.
We're putting together a plan for Haldene. That's really exciting. If you remember, we had discovered a new vein system there last year. We're targeting high-grade hundreds of grams silver over meters width like they see at the Keno Hill deposit, which Alexco Resource is actually just in the last stages of getting their mining operation up and running up there. That's a really neat one for us.
Another high-grade silver project in the Yukon at the southern border with British Columbia, just north of the Silvertip mine that Coeur is operating, we've got an agreement with them, where Coeur will be doing a small sort of reconnaissance program probably later this month on that, reopening some old trenches that were running 400 and 500 gram silver. That's another really neat project for us.
We've got high-grade gold in northern British Columbia at our KRL Project. Then our most recent acquisition is in Colorado at Twin Canyon. We're also looking at maybe expanding that program. We've been doing a reconnaissance soil survey there. We may continue some of that work, but also do some sampling underground at the old Charlene Mine, which is the centerpiece of the project. Just looking at maybe wrapping up some of those exploration efforts as well.
Here we are in August, but we still have a lot of work ahead of us in the remainder of this year. That's not including all the new stuff we're looking at as well.
Gerardo Del Real: A lot of year left. Jason, thank you so much for that thorough update. I appreciate the time.
Jason Weber: Thank you, Gerardo.