General Base Metals
Alianza Minerals (TSX-V: ANZ)(OTC: TARSF) CEO Jason Weber on Start of Drilling at Klondike Copper Project in Colorado’s Emerging Paradox Copper Belt
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, it's been a bit, how are you?
Jason Weber: I'm doing very well, Gerardo. How are you?
Gerardo Del Real: I am well. Excited for the end of summer, the commencement of September, which I think is going to lead to a much busier period here in the resource space. You know with the summer doldrums, things tend to get quiet… people are on vacation… kids are out of school. But that doesn't mean that a lot of quality work isn't being done and that's why I reached out.
Drilling now is underway at your Klondike copper property in Colorado, and you had some news here recently that I wanted to reach out to you about. Can you provide some context and let us know how things are going there? And then, let's talk about what September looks like for Alianza. A lot of irons in the fire.
Jason Weber: Yeah, we got the rig onsite and drilling underway at Klondike. It was delayed a little bit. We had put out a news release in July saying that crews were set to mobilize.
And then, we got a call from the drill contractor just before the drill was supposed to head out saying that their previous client had asked if we'd grant them one more drill hole. And being the guy who's on the other end of that phone call last year drilling at Haldane asking the next client if we could just drill one more hole, I felt we had to oblige them. So a little bit of a delay.
Got the drill out onsite. And as we're building the pads and the access to the pads, we uncovered more copper mineralization on surface, which is probably not the ultimate target that we're drilling. We're drilling the source; the fault that's bringing up the fluids that's bringing the copper to surface here. But for us, it just shows that these targets are robust.
They probably have some size to them, which, if they carry the grade, then you can envision an economic deposit potentially there. But just to see that copper mineralization more expansive than what we'd previously seen… just more confidence in the targets that we've chosen for drilling. So that was pretty exciting. Anytime you can set up the drill on a mineralized outcrop is a good thing.
Gerardo Del Real: And again, this project is a part of Alianza’s strategic alliance with Cloudbreak Discovery. For those that may be new to the Alianza story, can you speak to that a bit and just explain that for everyone?
Jason Weber: Yeah, so just the thirty-second backstory on the projects is that we were working on our Twin Canyon gold project in southwest Colorado. And the fellow that we had working with us on it, who just kind of brought it to our attention, had been talking about copper deposits in the same rocks and probably a similar style of mineralization to the gold mineralization that we were seeing at Twin Canyon. And we were interested in copper. That piqued our interest. But we didn't have the breadth within Alianza to really take these things on… narrow down the targets to ones we wanted to acquire and then move forward.
So we brought in the guys from Cloudbreak who we've known for a very long time; Rob Duncan, our VP Exploration and I had worked with Kyler Hardy and Rory Kutluoglu in the past. Great deal of respect for them and their technical abilities.
And so we brought them in on a 50/50 basis to move these targets forward, stake some claims, and then, together, we market them. And we brought in a partner, Allied Copper, on Klondike which we're drilling right now and Stateline which is the second of the projects that we acquired and we're able to deal out. And Stateline, we're just getting permits right now, and that will be the next project that gets drilling in this part of Colorado.
So it was a way for us to leverage into some projects that we just didn't have the internal bandwidth to do all by ourselves. And with the trust that we have with the Cloudbreak group, it was a very easy agreement for us to write up and then move these forward under the alliance banner.
Gerardo Del Real: You mentioned the bandwidth. And so what you do have a lot of internal bandwidth for are some of the 100%-owned Alianza projects that you have a flagship there and a few other ones. Can you speak to the rest of the portfolio and what that looks like moving forward?
Jason Weber: Yeah and so you kind of hit the nail on the head there. The Haldane silver project in the Keno district in Yukon Territory is our flagship project. That's where we see the most value being generated for Alianza. Of course, we had a discovery hole that we announced in early-2021. And we followed that up with a number of additional high-grade holes — 3 meters of 1,300 grams per tonne silver and the like — adjacent to the Keno silver mines that at the time Alexco Resources was mining.
So that was our focus. That was where the majority of our bandwidth was being taken up. And we’re a little bit later start to the field season at Haldane this year with a ground program that'll start near the end of this month. We'll do some mapping and trenching of some new targets.
And that's setting up for a drill program that we plan to do after that. We have the luxury of being able to drill almost right up until Christmas with road access into Haldane. And with two operating mines in the region and a number of very active exploration projects, the infrastructure in the Keno district is excellent. So that grants us the ability to work later into the field season even though it is a very far north project.
So we're lucky in that respect. Of course, as you know, Gerardo, Hecla Mining has just made a bid for Alexco Resources; that should close in early-September, I believe. And the exciting part for us is that it brings the United States’ largest silver producer into the district. I think it'll really help at the mining stage at the Keno Mine… just getting it up to speed and profitable.
And I think they'll spend the next year working towards that to get that mine back up and running. But I think it's a massive shot-in-the-arm for the district and really does validate just how significant this district is. And with Hecla there, I think we're going to see a lot of changes and a lot of excitement coming out of the district.
So that's the main flagship project. We do also have another silver project in the Yukon that you're aware of called Tim that's a joint venture with Coeur Mining. And this project lies just north of their Silvertip Mine and they are planning a drill program there. We're still waiting on a permit to get that going… but another really exciting high-grade silver project that's, again, adjacent to a mining camp.
So that one's not 100%-owned; obviously, Coeur is running that program. But still, it did take some time for us to keep on top of what's going on there. Again, our focus seems to be the silver and copper but that's just kind of a fluke by the way. Good projects came across our plate, and we're a bit agnostic on that, really.
Gerardo Del Real: It's a lot of shots-on-goal for a company with the market cap of… what is it right now? Maybe sub-C$8 million, Jason.
Jason Weber: Yeah, there's not a lot of love in the market right now for early-stage projects. And that creates a bit of an advantage for us because, since we are focused on the earlier stages of the exploration cycle, more of those projects are available right now. So we’re actually seeing a fair few projects come across our plate that are very, very interesting, and there's less competition for those.
I think people, right now, that are trying to take advantage of this soft metals market are probably looking higher up the chain for more advanced projects and competing on those. So while it's tough times, I think it also creates a bit of an opportunity if you can act on any of these.
It's always a challenge; these are cyclical markets. And it's really about timing your high-grade drill intersections when the market really cares and when the commodity prices are up and on the way up. And that's our challenge in this business.
Gerardo Del Real: It's a good time to be active. I think you're going to start seeing assays and results right when you want to, which typically is right around post Labor Day… everybody back in the office month-of-September, right? And so I'm looking forward to that. I appreciate the thorough update, Jason, and looking forward to catching up in person soon.
Jason Weber: Yeah, very much so Gerardo, and hopefully travel remains something that's free and easy like it's been through the summer and we can see each other often.
Gerardo Del Real: Fingers crossed. Thanks again, Jason. Appreciate it.
Jason Weber: Thanks, Gerardo.