Heliostar Metals (TSX-V: HSTR)(OTC: HSTXF) CEO Charles Funk on Year-Round Drilling Strategy: High-Grade Gold in Alaska Plus High-Grade Silver in Mexico
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the CEO of Heliostar Metals — Mr. Charles Funk. Charles, how are you today?
Charles Funk: I'm doing very well, Gerardo.
Gerardo Del Real: You are doing very well! Back on May 5th, you closed a C$5.6 million private placement topping off the treasury. On May 13th, you provided an update on the Alaska drilling and exploration that's going on there. And I want to talk about that.
And just recently, you had a sample of 1,428 grams per tonne silver equivalent over 1.2 meters at the project in Mexico. That's the also Oso Negro project. You also discovered some new veins there and you expanded your district by a tiny amount of 1,100%.
Let's start with the financing and then let's talk about where it's going. Obviously, Alaska and Mexico, right?
Charles Funk: Yeah, exactly. You can see from what you've just ran through there that we love high-grade. We love high-grade systems, and that's why we've targeted them at Unga and in Mexico. And so we've now completed approximately 30 holes for our program at Unga.
We were able to get away really early in the season. In fact, we expect to have our first results in the next few weeks in sort of late-June, maybe a touch earlier. And so we're going to be having results when most people are mobilizing in Alaska. That's the advantage that we have there.
And so we raised the additional capital so that we could run the drill program for longer. We ran the risk that we would do a small program, stop, wait for the results, potentially raise money, and then maybe not get the drill rigs back. So we bit the bullet; we put an accelerator on the warrants to help fund any success.
We've still only got 37 million shares out. And so we're 30 holes drilled with results coming shortly and we're very optimistic about Unga. As you know from our previous conversation — this isn't wildcat drilling. We're stepping out from gold intersections we drilled last year.
Gerardo Del Real: Well said. I'm looking forward to those results. Looking forward to having you back here. You and I spoke off the air and we mentioned that if Oso Negro was the only project you had — you'd immediately be drilling that.
Fortunately for you and for shareholders, you have two high-quality projects. Oso Negro, of course, is an earlier-stage project… but you have to be extremely encouraged to expand the district by 1,100%.
Charles Funk: Absolutely! We knew that there was some more potential and so we increased the land position, as you said, over 10 times. And then, the way we work out targets is pretty systematic; it's almost a bit boring. We prospect them and then we systematically map them and then we proceed to drill them.
And so we've now got a vein that's 360 meters long averaging 1.3 meters wide with a weighted average grade of 420 grams [per tonne] silver equivalent. That's an amazing drill target. If we weren't busy with three rigs at Unga — we'd be there tomorrow!
So we've just got to get the Unga project program done for the summer and then we'd look to go back to Oso Negro. But really excited with those results there; almost all grade at-surface.
Gerardo Del Real: Post-financing, what does the treasury look like, and how do you plan to allocate that here in the second half of the year?
Charles Funk: Yeah, so we listed up to about C$8.5 million upon the closing of the financing. The majority of that is going towards our Unga project. We've budgeted about C$6 million and then we'll look to proceed in Mexico at the end of the year with the rest of those funds.
So Unga is clearly our flagship. We think we can lift that high-grade resource. If you remember, it's 384,000 ounces at 13.8 grams per tonne. And our initial goal is to lift that to over a million ounces. So that's the core focus at Unga.
Our Mexican projects are a touch earlier-stage but we think each one of the three could each be company-makers. And Oso Negro has taken an important step forward down that pathway.
Gerardo Del Real: Charles, exciting second half! I'm looking forward to those initial results out of Alaska. You have a lot to get to; I will let you get to it. But thank you so much for your time today. I appreciate the update.
Charles Funk: Perfect. Thank you to the listeners. Thank you, Gerardo.
Gerardo Del Real: Alright, chat soon.