Dolly Varden Silver (TSX-V: DV)(OTC: DOLLF) CEO Shawn Khunkhun on Commencement of Field Activities & Drilling at Torbrit Silver Deposit — Dolly Varden Silver Project in British Columbia’s Golden Triangle
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the CEO of Dolly Varden Silver — Mr. Shawn Khunkhun. Shawn, how are you… it's been a bit!
Shawn Khunkhun: I'm doing fantastic, Gerardo. How are you doing?
Gerardo Del Real: I am doing well. Thank you very much for asking. You had some news yesterday. I thought it was the perfect opportunity for us to catch up and provide everyone with an update. And so the headline reads:
Dolly Varden Mobilizes to Commence Resource Expansion and Upgrade Drilling at Torbrit Silver Deposit and Exploration of New Priority Silver Targets.
Obviously, the headline is a mouthful but that's because there is a lot going on after a quiet period, publicly anyway, right?
Shawn Khunkhun: Yeah, so let me set the stage here a little bit. The Golden Triangle has been on-fire. You've seen Newmont's acquisition of GT Gold for half a billion dollars. You've seen Yamana come into Ascot. I've never seen the level of interest or activity. We've got a resurgence occurring.
Skeena is up to close to a billion dollar market cap. Ascot has been moving up. The whole area is on-fire. What we've done since our last news release is we've had the busiest offseason. We've been completing several studies; engineering studies, underground mining studies, geological targeting studies and reviews.
We've had the busiest offseason. We've leveraged our treasury. We've got over C$22 million in the bank right now, and we've spent that on the science. We've brought in some new team members. We've got just a flurry of activity occurring.
And now that the snow has melted — we're up at-site. The drill is coming in. We've got a big program planned. It's a two-fold program. So one-fold is focused at the deposit; focused at the past-producing high-grade Torbrit where almost 60 million ounces of silver have been identified at super, super high grades; 18 million [ounces] have been produced.
There's a big endowment there. It's a big, wide ore body. And that's one part of the plan. So upgrade that; bring some of those Inferred ounces into the Measured & Indicated category. And, Gerardo, you've seen this, I've seen this… when you start drilling around a mine — you find more! We saw it last year where we hit almost 50 meters of over 300 grams [per tonne] of silver. These are massive intercepts.
Now that's exciting; that's intense. But the big prize here is that exploration belt. We've got 4.5 kilometers, okay? We've got the targets. And we've got some just really, really, really exciting exploration targets we're going to drill. And that's the two-fold strategy. Grow what we have, upgrade it, move it forward, advance it, get underground. And as we're doing that, look for another Torbrit on the property.
I've got a vision to take this property through a hundred million ounces! You look at what's happening around the world in places like Peru where you're seeing election results sort of make mining less stable. And the opportunity that we have here — with our government, with our First Nations partners, the Nisga'a, with the endowment — is tremendous.
And so we're looking to exploit that opportunity with a very, very aggressive two-phase strategy. And we've got the targets. We've got the endowment. We've got the team. And I can't wait to come back on the program with some results.
Gerardo Del Real: I'm looking forward to it! So just to be clear, you're looking to upgrade the Inferred resource to a Measured & Indicated classification. And then, simultaneously, you're also looking for that high-reward exploration drilling that the market always rewards when you hit, correct?
Shawn Khunkhun: Correct. But further to that, on the first part of that, around Torbrit, what ends up happening is you end up growing by 20%-30% as you go through that upgrading exercise because you start drilling and extending and expanding zones, and you incrementally start adding to the resource in addition to upgrading your confidence and moving categories.
And you know, Gerardo, there's projects out there that look really good on paper. There's projects out there where companies can put a lot of ounces on paper — but they're Inferred. And once you go and tighten up those drill spacings, you end up losing ounces.
Gerardo Del Real: Yeah.
Shawn Khunkhun: This is a project that the bulk of our 43-101 [resource] is already Indicated. So we know from tight space drilling that this one holds together. It's not potty; there's continuity. It's amenable to bulk mining methods like longhauling.
So this is a project that's a tremendous asset. It's really rare in the sense that this is not a zinc mine or a lead mine dressed up like a silver mine. We only report the silver numbers, and we don't put out equivalents, right? So this is a pure silver play. And it's in a tremendous area that's got — you look at Eskay Creek — that’s 200 million ounces of 2,000 gram [per tonne] silver.
Gerardo Del Real: Yeah, it's phenomenal!
Shawn Khunkhun: That doesn't even sound real! And that's what our neighbors to the north have produced. And then, we've got this — and I never talk about this — but we've got this gold trend that's coming from our neighbor to the west, Homestake Ridge, which is owned by Fury.
They've got a million ounces of gold right coming up on our border. We went out to the western part of the gold belt… and where we've got this gold trend coming onto our property… and we're finding gold and copper — the two most coveted metals under the sun right now — right on our property border.
So we're going to drill some holes there on the southern end of that gold belt in addition to focusing on the high-grade silver. So it's going to be a busy season. It's going to be a season that's full of results. And with C$22 million in the bank — there's no end in drilling for years.
Gerardo Del Real: Shawn, I've got to say, this is probably the most exciting exploration season out of the Dolly Varden Silver Belt for a multitude of reasons, right? One, the silver price and where we think that silver price is headed. But there's a lot of real quality work being done by yourself, by Hecla, nearby — by others. And so I'm excited for it!
I'm looking forward to having you back on. You're cashed up. You have the team to do it. You already have a pretty robust resource, and it sounds like you're pretty confident you can add to that.
Shawn Khunkhun: Well, you know what… it’s because of the team that I have. It's people like Rob McLeod, like Rob Van Egmond, Jodie Gibson, Ryan Weymark. It's these scientists that have had successful discoveries, successful sale of companies to larger entities, takeovers — it's because of these scientists that they're giving me the confidence.
And it's because of what's been produced and what's there in a 43-101 compliant resource — all the targets. This is a hundred-year-old camp, Gerardo, that every year delivers new discoveries. And at some point we are going to find another Torbrit.
And when we do, you're going to see the same type of share price growth and market cap growth we've seen with others in the neighborhood; companies like Skeena, companies like Tudor, companies like Pretium — we're in giant country here, and it's reawakening these past giants.
And you've got the grade. You've got the endowment. And we've got the team. We've got the treasury. And now, it's the season where we're going to produce a lot of news; a lot of catalyst. This is the time!
Gerardo Del Real: A lot to get to. I'll let you get to it! Thanks again for your time, Shawn.
Shawn Khunkhun: Thank you, Gerardo. Thanks for having me on.