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Alianza Minerals (TSX-V: ANZ)(OTC: TARSF) CEO Jason Weber on Multiple Drill Programs; Copper in Colorado & Silver in Canada’s Yukon
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the president & CEO of Alianza Minerals — Mr. Jason Weber. Jason, how are you today?
Jason Weber: Gerardo, I'm doing well. And you?
Gerardo Del Real: I am well. Thank you for asking. We joked and talked a bit off air. I said we have some wonky markets. That was my nice non-vulgar word for it. But look, let's dig right into it.
Alianza spent the first half of 2022 really setting up for what I believe is going to be an exciting second half… a second half that's met with a much better market in Q4. And fortunately for you, you're starting here the month of August and ending the month of July with some drilling at your Klondike copper property in Colorado. You've mobilized the exploration team and the crews out there.
So I want to talk about the target selection there. And then, I really want to get into what the rest of the portfolio holds in the second half of 2022 because, again, I think there's going to be a lot to follow up on. And then, we'll even talk M&A in the Keno area there. I think that's becoming an area play that'll get more attention here in the second half. So a lot there. Let's start with Klondike.
Jason Weber: Yeah, really excited to get going on Klondike. And it's pretty amazing… a year ago, we basically put these projects into the portfolio; the southwestern Colorado projects that are in the Copper Alliance of Cloudbreak Discovery [the “Alliance”]. And a year later, we're now getting a drill onto site, testing three different target areas that we were able to generate some great surface samples from.
I think every target had samples that were in excess of a percent copper, and that's highlighted by our Northeast Fault target, which is a 4.6 meter chip sample that averaged a percent and a half copper. So it'll be really exciting to get a drill on the ground… test the first phase programs slated for five holes, just around a thousand meters of drilling, and give these initial targets a test and see where we go from there.
You’ve got to remember that these targets here that we're looking at haven't really been systematically explored for copper. As a geologist, it's a lot of fun to get out on the ground and take another look at these from the perspective of the copper exploration potential. And, of course, the best way to do that is with the drill rig.
Gerardo Del Real: There are a lot of companies that aren't getting credit for not just the non-core projects but even the flagship projects right now, right? I look at Alianza's market cap and I have a list, right, I speak with CEOs every day and, obviously, every CEO feels like they're not getting their just due in the current market.
But we've seen enough of these cycles, Jason, to know that you have to do two things during these markets. You have to position for better news flow because markets turn and they turn quickly. And the last thing you want is to waste an opportunity to do quality exploration work because it takes you another six to nine months to get up and running when that market finally turns.
And the other companies are the companies that are getting the work done now to make sure they're positioned ahead of time. I love the way you've brought in properties. And I love the way you've kind of staggered the news flow to be very second half weighted.
Let's talk a bit about the Alliance because I mentioned that the flagship… I don't think is even getting the credit it deserves… the Alliance that this exploration program falls under is absolutely not getting any recognition or being given any credit by the market right now. Can you explain what that is and why that's important here moving forward?
Jason Weber: Well, I think part of it is the fact that southwest Colorado, we're working there, there is an active copper mine in the region, and we're exploring the same rocks. And in fact, one of the projects, State Line, is right along trend about eight kilometers away from the mine. But it's not necessarily known as a copper district. It's known for things like uranium and vanadium and metals like that.
So the Copper Alliance… taking a look at this in another light… I think, for some people, it's really opened their eyes to ‘Wow, this is a great opportunity here… you’re first-movers in this area!’ And we've actually heard from other companies who were sort of turning to the area and said, ‘Ah, you kind of beat us to it!’ But it takes a little bit of time for people to catch up. And, of course, when you're not in a great market, that tends to be a slower process.
With these Alliance targets, we just feel that it's a bit of a show-me market. So the drilling is going to hopefully do that. And that will awaken people to the potential of the district, of the area. And then, we'll maybe see that reflected in our market cap.
Gerardo Del Real: Let's talk the Yukon… let's talk Keno Hill… let's talk consolidation. Thoughts on that and the recent activity. And then, the activity that Alianza has here planned for the second half of this year.
Jason Weber: Yeah, of course, the activity you're referring to is the recent news that Hecla is taking out Alexco who is the operator of the Keno Hill Mine. So the core of the historic Keno Hill district that's been in operation… well, started over a hundred years ago… now will fall under the Hecla umbrella, which I think is a great thing — Hecla being, I think, the largest silver producer in the United States.
It’s great to have that behind the Keno Hill district. I think it allows perhaps the exploration teams onsite there to be more aggressive. And I wouldn't be surprised to see them be more aggressive in the rest of the district itself. So I think that bodes well for the neighbors of the Keno Hill Mine like ourselves. And I think what it does is it probably shines a bit of a light for investors back on this district and a positive light. So I think that bodes very well for us as well going forward.
We've got a great relationship with the Alexco team. They've done a phenomenal job on exploration up there; some of the targets that they're testing and drilling coming up with thousands of grams of silver over eight meters are fantastic results. So I think now with Hecla, they're well-capitalized; they're going to be better able to take advantage of the success of that exploration team as they develop the district.
Gerardo Del Real: Obviously, the more success within the district the better the odds that consolidation happens, right? To that effort, how does the upcoming exploration plan look for that part of the world for Alianza?
Jason Weber: Yeah, you're absolutely right in that. And I think that with the way our program is laid out for this year… trying to get sort of the Alliance stuff out of the way earlier in the summer program and then because we have the luxury of drilling late into the season at Haldane… we're probably looking at sometime in September for a startup on a program there.
Hopefully, a little less busy… maybe the labs are starting to slow down at that point. Although this year, the labs may not be as big of an issue as they have been in the past just because I don't think there's as much exploration going on. But I think that really allows us to take advantage of some access to drill crews… that sort of thing… that will get to the fall and then, hopefully, a better market for silver exploration companies.
We've released some phenomenal results from Haldane at the West Fault and really not seeing the appreciation in the market. And I think that's just largely because the silver market has been flattened down through that whole period and there hasn't been a lot of excitement in it.
So we're hoping this next set of drill results will be in a better market and will continue to show the potential for the West Fault to become a significant silver deposit and have everything come together nicely. I think it bodes really well for Alianza's shareholders.
Gerardo Del Real: I agree. I've joked often that great Warren Buffet line about buying winter coats in the summertime. There are a lot of winter coats available right now at bargain basement prices. I’ve got to count Alianza among those.
You're looking for quality silver and copper exposure with a top-notch exploration team and a management team that cares about its shareholders. Alianza absolutely merits a look. I encourage everybody to go to the website and get a bit more familiar with the company. Anything to add to that, Jason?
Jason Weber: I think that you're bang-on, Gerardo, as we continue to conduct exploration here. Of course, we've got the duality in our business model of the joint venture projects; other people spending money like our partners, Allied.
We also have Coeur spending money at Tim, which hopefully we'll see some more exploration work on this year as well. And then, with Haldane, the wholly-owned project, that we can move forward ourselves. I think it gives us a real advantage not just for news flow but for numbers of discovery opportunities.
And we continue to not only look for new projects to bring into the portfolio but we're always in talks trying to find the next partner to advance another set of projects along. So we've been pretty active in that through this slow period in the market. So hopefully we'll see some fruit from that labor.
Gerardo Del Real: Fantastic. Jason, enjoy the rest of your summer. I'm looking forward to results from Klondike. I'm sure we'll be chatting here within the next couple of months.
And then, I'm looking forward to hopefully catching up with you at Beaver Creek where I suspect we'll be slowly but surely headed towards a better market and then headed into what I believe is going to be a spectacular fourth quarter chock-full of discoveries for a lot of companies and a market that'll be way more receptive than the current one is.
Thank you for your time today. I appreciate the update.
Jason Weber: Thank you, Gerardo. Great to chat with you.