General Base Metals
Aben Resources (TSX-V: ABN)(OTC: ABNAF) CEO Jim Pettit on New Graphite Acquisition & Multiple Exploration Programs in 2022
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the CEO of Aben Resources, Mr. Jim Pettit. Jim, it's been a bit. It's great to have you back on. How are you, sir?
Jim Pettit: Hey, it's great to be back on. I'm doing well, doing well, made it through the Christmas season unscathed.
Gerardo Del Real: We're here. It's 2022. I think 2022 for the resource sector is going to be an exciting one. I think that'll be the case for gold, lithium, uranium, copper and graphite, which brings me to the news that you just announced. You received regulatory approval for a deal to acquire the Slocan Graphite Project. It's an earlier stage project, but it's had a lot of work and it benefits from some pretty interesting and beneficial infrastructure. I would love a bit of a primer from you on the project, and how that fits into Aben's strategy here for 2022.
Jim Pettit: Sure. Thanks. Well, I was actually just talking with Tim Termuende, who's on the board. He also runs a company called Eagle Plains, which is a project generator. And I just said, “Tim, I want to find some more battery metals. I'd be interested in something in the graphite space,” and he said, “Well, guess what?” They just staked it. And they did about a $20,000 quick sampling program. There's an old historic geophysical process that was done and it's defined a fairly sizable geophysical anomaly. And the sampling they've come back with in their preliminary look at it, was large flake graphite, somewhat associated to this geophysical anomaly, which is perfect. It is early stage, but that's going to give us a good start. You need large graphite. There's different kinds of graphite. It's a unique market. You want large flake graphite, and if that's what we find here, this is a good find. It's a very good find.
And we'll be getting in there with a field program in April, depending on the snow. We're in the Kootenays, which is a mountain range just before the Rockies in British Columbia, 45 miles out of town, a town called Castlegar. Right beside us there's a company called Eagle Graphite, and they've got a processing facility right there for graphite. I'm not sure if it's still operational or what's going on there. We're going to look into that. But this property is also drive in accessible. It was initially found by logging road cuts and that's where it starts. And we're going to get in there, and hopefully prove what we think is there.
It's one of those. It's not a lot of money. It's a really good, well structured deal for a hundred percent. We've got to spend $150,000 over four years and issue 850,000 shares. Sorry, we don't have to spend it. That's what we owe in the part of the option to earn, and then we will spend a million dollars over four years. And I think that's really a good deal. It took a while to get TSX approval, but that's to be expected with the times currently. But going forward, I think, we're going to get in there and do some sampling, trenching, get it all done, and then probably get some drilling through the summer.
Gerardo Del Real: Jim, you benefit from the fact that the property hosts several large flake, graphite bearing outcrops, that extend, I believe, over two kilometers. So it's not like this is undercover and you're hoping that there's something underneath. We already know that you have graphite bearing outcrops. Now, of course, in the bigger scheme of things, you need continuity. You need size. You need all of that, but it's got to be encouraging because if you make a discovery of significance here, you have that infrastructure in place. There's a high voltage line, I believe, 1.2 kilometers from the property boundary. You mentioned the graphite processing plant and the facilities, one and a half kilometer west of the property, that's owned by Eagle Graphite. So all of those things are in your favor. You mentioned possibly a summer drilling program, far from a one trick pony. I know Aben's been forgotten about with tax loss selling season and the quiet period, but you have multiple assets that are going to see exploration this year, correct?
Jim Pettit: Yes, we do. Yeah. It's not just about the graphite, but that's going to be a significant story moving forward. We've also picked up land in Red Lake. We did that towards the end of the summer, July and August. As soon as we can get in there, in the spring as well, away we go. The thing about Red Lake, is once you get through the initial field work season and can start drilling, you can drill all year long. We've done it in the past.
My business partner, Don Huston and I, years and years and years ago, we were some of the biggest claim holders in Red Lake at the time. That was back in a cycle that was really incredible. And this is another cycle, largely because of Great Bear and that new discovery that Kinross is buying. Well, that's on a deep seated seismic structure that's been identified recently by the Ontario government. The mine center itself and the two old mines that have been there forever, is sitting on a deep seated seismic structure. And now they've identified one that heads north out of the mine center area. And we've staked ground right on the structure, as far as we can tell so far.
I've got a geologist, I've got a new guy going in there that is a structural geo. And it's a good setting for him to have a good look at and it basically is showing you where the contact between these two big old rock packages is what I'll call them. But it's the Balmer assemblage, I guess. I think it's called the Confederation as well. On that contact is where there's a lot of fluids get through. And that's where the gold comes from in Red Lake. And that's a great place to start. So we'll be in there early, probably April as well. We'll see. Got some sampling to do. We've got some historic information to work with. It's sampling that Agnico Eagle has done.
We've done an airborne this past summer. So it's going to allow us to get on the ground and pinpoint targets. We were there, I guess it was in August. We took a Beaver, the de Havilland Beaver, and Tim and I and Cornell, we flew over the property, and it had been recently burned, so you could see our outcrop. And we were taking pictures. You got a hook to your ear, a GPS locator to your camera on your cell phone, and everywhere you take a picture, it plots it on the GPS. So then you can create a map with all these pictures of outcrops so that we don't have to waste time on the ground looking for outcrop. We can put the guys right in there. And you got outcrop here, here, here, here and here, and take samples. And so that process should be pretty quick. And then we can follow that up with, well, in Red Lake, it would be drilling. So next summer's going to be really busy.
I've got, up in the north, in the Yukon, the Justin property. They've got a technical report being done. It's taken a long time because they've been waiting for the assays. We were re-assaying a lot of stuff we did up there. The technical report is so that I could maybe entice somebody to come and have a look at it, because our neighbors were bought out. The 3 Aces was bought out by Seabridge, and they've got a big position now, right beside us there. And then the Forrest Kerr, we've got some ideas. We've now got some other geos having a look. And, at this point in time, I think we're going to have a better timeline with the graphite in Red Lake, because that'll get us through the summer and potentially through the next winter.
And then in the meantime, we can put together a program. If it's deemed that we should, we'll go back in. But right now we're not planning on it. There's a lot of issues in terms of the COVID, getting in and out of the area, the Tahltan Nation area, and the camp facilities having to be up there instead of down by the airstrip in the valley floor. It just creates some logistical problems that we hadn't seen in the past till we did it last year. But there is some things to be rehashed. It's going to be new set of eyes looking at it.
Gerardo Del Real: It sounds like 2022 is going to be a year of hopefully discovery, definitely a year of exploration. And it sounds like multiple shots on goal. Am I correct?
Jim Pettit: Oh yeah. Yeah. I mean, we're sitting at 5 cents. I mean, this is a six, 7 million market cap. And if you look at the chart from the last five years, it does look like an electrocardiogram. It bottoms out this time of year, spikes up in the summer. And I think what'll be the difference is there should be more follow through next winter, rather than the drop back. In October, when you finish up in the Forrest Kerr area, it's over and tax loss selling hits hard. And I think we'll see that change because we could conceivably be drilling through the winter, and that's what we're going to gear for.
Gerardo Del Real: A lot of news flow. It sounds like you and I will be chatting more often. I'm looking forward to it. You're always welcome on, Jim. It's great to catch up a bit, and hopefully we chat again soon.
Jim Pettit: You bet.
Gerardo Del Real: All right. Thanks again.
Jim Pettit: Bye, bye.