Banyan Gold (TSX-V: BYN)(OTC: BYAGF) CEO Tara Christie on Start of Spring/Summer Drilling at Flagship 7 Moz Au AurMac Gold Project, Yukon, Canada


Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the president & CEO of Banyan Gold — Ms. Tara Christie. Tara, it's great to have you back on. How are you?

Tara Christie: I'm great. Thanks for having me back again.

Gerardo Del Real: Well, listen, let's get right into it. It's really easy with gold above US$2,300 an ounce and with a 7 million gold ounce resource to forget the exploration potential that the project has, right? 

I think it's easy to focus on record-high gold prices. It's easy to focus on 7 million ounces. It's really easy to focus on the fact that you're a prime takeout target in a top-notch jurisdiction. But I really wanted to have you on to talk about the exploration upside.

You had a release here recently about the commencement of drilling and some of the targets and what you're looking to do with that. So I thought it was a good time to have you on so that you can share your insights and thoughts on the approach this season.

Tara Christie: Sure, Gerardo. We've got lots of feedback from our shareholders. And we spent this winter really digging into our data, both from the engineering mining side and understanding the continuity of high-grade where we could find that to actually demonstrate that there's a strong core of what we believe is higher grade, and significantly higher grade, that's part in a mineable pit with a decent strip ratio. 

We've dug into that, and we've dug into the geology and the structure to give us kind of that same answer and combine the two. Some of our drilling is focused on drilling off some of those higher-grade areas that we believe hang together really well and would give us our two-year starter pits but also really form the basis of a mine plan.

The exploration potential, as you said, is still high on this property. The deepest part of the pit is 200 meters. We have one hole with mineralization down to 650 meters so we know that this can be drilled at-depth. Of course, then you're dealing with strip ratio so we're being strategic on where we add ounces. We know there are easy ounces right around the pit. Anybody who looks at the sections can see that; we simply haven't drilled those areas as they haven’t been a priority. But lots of areas to add.

And in fact, I think I can see growth potential to target 10 million ounces there [from 7 million ounces Inferred currently]. We've weighed all of that. We've got our geologic team, and we continue to talk. We've drilled two holes, and we put out a press release saying, ‘In our first hole, we saw visible gold (VG).’ 

We’re continuing to refine our plans, and the current gold price environment is making things pretty exciting. We're sitting in the enviable position of having cash to execute our program. 

And we have a combination of things going on. We're excited by the drilling for that higher grade as well as the exploration potential. And then, we're continuing on with the metallurgy, and the parts that make this, and turn it into an exciting development project. 

And then, the baseline study work. One of our key advantages is the permitability of this project and how fast it could go into construction. There's no other gold project in the Yukon held by a junior that can actually boast our potential timeline. And I love the spring… as you can tell, I'm super excited!

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Gerardo Del Real: As am I! You touched on the team a bit, and you just added a technical advisor. Can you speak to Henry Marsden’s background because the credentials speak for themselves. Yet, for people that may not know Henry's background, can you speak to that a bit?

Tara Christie: Sure, Henry is a very senior geologist coming out of Yamana, a company that was very, very successful. His strengths are really in understanding how you get the most value out of exploration programs and combine it with finding economic projects. That's really invaluable. 

Yamana, as you know, very successfully got taken out in 2021. And now, Henry has come over to Banyan to help us out. He likes our team, and he likes the geology and the project. We're actually having him up to site in a couple of weeks along with some of our other quite well-known technical advisors and people that are helping us this year. 

We've really got a wave of support from people that want to say they've looked at this project. Our team spent a week basically sitting down with Henry and going through our data hole-by-hole and section by section planning and thinking — here's plan A, and here's plan B — and really even scoping out the next two years of what we could do. I'm really excited about that.

We've added to our technical team in a couple other areas; geologists and structural geology. We’re even doing some 3D geophysics to really bolster and back up our 3D geological model. Combining that gives us new exploration targets to distill as well as new targets right around AurMac. It's going to be a great year, and I'm excited for the news we’ll be sharing with our shareholders.

Gerardo Del Real: Tara, a lot to be excited about, including the fact that it's spring and obviously a great time of the year. I think the second half of this year is going to be phenomenal for both the gold price and commodity prices. And as well for Banyan with its many irons in the fire. Anything else to add to that?

Tara Christie: The other part that's really important is the community engagement. And that's something we take very seriously, including making sure we are hiring from the local community. Of course, what the retail market is looking for are those drill holes, and I'm more excited this year for a program than I've ever been. I think it’s going to be a pretty exciting 2024.

Gerardo Del Real: I couldn't agree with you more, Tara. Thank you again for the update. I’m looking forward to having you back on as soon as we start getting some of those assays, and I’m really intrigued by the potential there.

Tara Christie: Thank you very much, Gerardo.

Gerardo Del Real: Alright, cheers.

Tara Christie: Cheers.