General Precious Metals
Abacus Mining and Exploration (TSX-V: AME) COO Paul Anderson on Geophysical Program at Jersey Valley Project, New Superintendent at Ajax Project & Plans for Willow Project
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the President and COO of Abacus Mining and Exploration (TSX-V: AME)(OTC: ABCFF), Mr. Paul Anderson. Paul, how are you?
Paul Anderson: I'm just fine. Thank you, Gerardo. How are you?
Gerardo Del Real: I am well. I'm excited about the next several months. There's a lot going on, let's get to it. You just announced your geophysical program at the Jersey Valley Gold Project in Nevada. It's a project that I'm excited to see drilled. Can we start there before we pivot and talk a bit about Ajax, some pretty important developments on that front as well. But first Jersey Valley, it seems like by month end, you'll have some geophysics action going.
Paul Anderson: Yes, that's right. We've just announced that we've signed a contract to do some further geophysics, some IP, or induced polarization, geophysics. Jersey Valley is a gold project. It's been worked in the past. It has some existing IP from a previous operator, about 15 years ago. That IP showed some pretty compelling targets. We got ahold of the raw data back in June and we reprocessed it, and it showed some very compelling, fairly large targets.
One is about 600 meters by 500 meters. The targets were open on the lines of the geophysics. What we're doing is basically bracketing that old geophysics and doing new and seeing if we can extend those anomalies. Now, the other nice thing about those anomalies is that we know that they're gold and silver bearing.
The previous operator did a little bit of drilling, not much. They've got basically three or four holes in that entire area. But the results were fairly compelling, on the order of 0.2 gold-silver 13 meters and about 0.2 gold-silver 30 meters in one of the drill holes. In some cases the drilling ended in mineralization, which was pretty interesting.
One thing about that old program is that it seems as if the geophysics that was done at the time was not maybe processed as well as it could have been. The targets were not as well-defined. So the drill holes were set up on that basis. As far as what we can tell is that they've basically nicked the targets in the drilling, but they haven't tested them properly. It all makes a very compelling story. We're going to get in there, do some more geophysics. It's supposed to start by the end of the month. It's tough to find geophysical companies or any companies, contractors, these days. Everybody's raising money. We're going to get going at the end of the month and we should have those results back sometime in October, probably mid-October, something like that.
Gerardo Del Real: And then you're hoping to drill this the following quarter once everything is processed, correct?
Paul Anderson: Yeah, right now the process is get the geophysics back, then you can ask for the drill permits. This is BLM land, Bureau of Land Management. The permitting process is generally pretty straightforward. We do have roads, good roads that go into the area. We might not have to build any new roads, but we might have to build a couple of drill pads.
The idea is that once we have the targets defined where we want to drill, we ask for the drill permits, and then at the same time, we're talking to drilling companies, getting the contract going. Everybody is doing the same thing, but we're certainly hoping by fourth quarter to get in there and do some initial drilling and see what this looks like.
Gerardo Del Real: We got to chat Ajax here in a second with copper over $3 and gold at $1,960. But before we get to that, I'd love to ask you about Willow. Any progress there? I've been at that property, I think it's a heck of a property with some great targets. Any thoughts on Willow and how you see that project being developed over the next couple of quarters?
Paul Anderson: Well, we've been in a holding pattern on that project where we hit basically the host granite for the porphyries in the camp. We know that granite to have a porphyry in the Yerington camp. It's a new discovery of that rock type on our property. The drilling we did a couple of years ago was very limited, it basically defined that unit. But it didn't define how large it was or how deep it was and that sort of thing.
We need to get back in there and do probably another six to eight drill holes to define how large it is, what the grade is, that sort of thing. That would be just an initial sort of okay, it looks this big, now it needs more work, or it's too deep and it's not economic or whatever. We've been giving some thoughts to getting back in there. Of course, as you mentioned, the copper price is up, gold is up, it's probably time to get back and working on that project. We're looking at it now. We don't have plans immediately to do something, but in the very near future I think we need to get back and start working that project again.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. Stay tuned is what you're telling me?
Paul Anderson: Stay tuned, yes.
Gerardo Del Real: I like it. Again, gold and copper being where they are, we have to talk Ajax. Some pretty significant news that I think some people caught onto, but most did not. It seems KGHM and you have boots on the ground again, or will very soon.
Paul Anderson: Well, we do. I think you're right that people sort of missed the significance of the announcement that we made a week or so ago. Our partner, KGHM, has 80% of the project. Of course, Abacus is carried through to production on that project. The project kind of shut down a couple of years ago when we got to a no on the environmental permit. Our partners KGHM basically pulled a lot of people off the project. There's been a lot of changes in terms of personnel, that sort of thing, the last little while. They haven't had a presence up in Kamloops for a couple of years now because they closed the offices.
What they've done in the last few weeks is they've hired a new project head. They call him the Ajax superintendent. He's actually a resident of Kamloops. He lives there in town, he's worked on the project in the past. He's an engineer by training. He knows the project, he knows the local issues. Of course, most of the local issues are getting buy-in from First Nations, local community groups and government, more or less in that order.
That's quite significant that someone is actually in town working on the project again. KGHM is supposed to be renting new office space. I haven't heard that they've actually signed a lease on something, but it was supposed to be imminent a couple of weeks ago. We're quite pleased that the project actually seems to be on its way to being back on track.
Of course the idea is, with this new person in charge, that you start moving towards a resubmittal of the environmental application permit, which is the first process in terms of getting a mine into production. We're a ways off of a production decision, but it's a significant first step. We're encouraged that our partner has actually got someone back in town working on the project, that's pretty significant.
Gerardo Del Real: Again, this is a massive project. It's 2.7 billion pounds of copper, 2.6 million ounces of gold, I believe 5.3 million ounces of silver with incredibly exciting exploration upside. As you mentioned, you're carried through production and own 20% of it, a pretty significant detail there.
I'm looking forward to more news out of Ajax, but first comes first and it sounds like Jersey Valley is up next. Paul, anything else that you'd like to add before I let you go?
Paul Anderson: No, just that we'll have a bit of newsflow. When we actually start the survey, we'll probably put something out to the market that it's actually started. Stay tuned about Willow because we are thinking sort of getting back in on that project, and Ajax as well. There's going to be some news coming out.
Gerardo Del Real: It's a lot to like for a company that has a market cap of – what is it today, Paul?
Paul Anderson: Not very much.
Gerardo Del Real: $16.6 million Canadian. Again, 20% of Ajax, an exciting gold project and an exciting copper gold project in Willow. I'm a biased shareholder, I participated in several financings. I plan on continuing to add shares, so take that as you will, but there's a reason for all of that. Paul, thank you so much. I appreciate your time.
Paul Anderson: Thank you very much. You have a good day.
Gerardo Del Real: You as well.
Paul Anderson: All right. Thanks.