Westhaven Gold (TSX-V: WHN)(OTC: WTHVF) CEO Gareth Thomas on Hitting Bonanza Grade Gold at Franz

 

Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the president and CEO of Westhaven Gold, Mr. Gareth Thomas. Gareth, hello and congratulations. How are you today?

Gareth Thomas: I’m well, thanks, Gerardo. Happy New Year.

Gerardo Del Real: Happy New Year to you as well. When we chatted towards the end of 2022, we commented that we likely would be chatting frequently into 2023. This is a heck of a way to kick off our conversation, Westhaven just drilled 6.2 meters of 73.51 grams per tonne gold and 92.37 grams per tonne silver. That was within 12 meters of 39.42 grams per tonne gold and 51.81 grams per tonne silver at the Franz Zone. Congratulations are most definitely in order, as I mentioned. Look, it's near surface. You describe it as easily accessible. It's 2.3 kilometers from the 1.1 million ounce gold equivalent resource at the South Zone. We have a gold market. Great start of the year. I'll let you provide the details there, Gareth.

Gareth Thomas: Yeah, I mean Franz was something we discovered in late 2020 and we did put a few drill holes into this outcrop. For people who've been there, which quite a few shareholders and potential investors and groups have come up and seen this, it's quite a rare thing to have a high grade outcrop like this on surface. And this year while we were drilling between FMN and Franz to fill this gap where we had the hit, we announced in April there the 23 meters of 37 grams per tonne and we made our way towards this high grade outcrop. Obviously, we were hoping we're going to hit some more of these high grade things.

But Franz, now that we've done some mapping, we've cleared outcrop off, we'd only really drilled one hole, which was SN20-101, which was about 7.78 meters of 14.8 grams per tonne gold. We realized we hadn't really done a whole lot of testing on this and we were trying to decide whether we should channel sample it, trench it, so we figured let's put a few holes. So this is 50 meters away from any past drill intercept, so it's not like it's a five meter step out here. This is got some strike away from this. So yeah, we knew it'd be high grade, but this was certainly beyond our expectations. So yeah, I think it's a 473 gram meter intercept, which, yeah, we know it's a high grade outcrop.

And I think moving forward here, we're going to be paying a bit more attention. It's not going to be our focus of Westhaven here is this outcrop, but being that it's on surface, we can certainly see potential for something very easily economic here, if you will. So we're certainly going to be looking at ways to move this thing forward.

As mentioned, we're still very much a drill bit story. We got lots of drill targets here throughout the property, which we'll be touching on here in a news release in the coming weeks in terms of our outline and our plan for 2023 and finding more gold. But Franz, it's hard to ignore when this thing's just sitting there and you're getting grades like this. And certainly some light bulbs went off when we said, "You know what? This is right there on surface. It wouldn't take a big mine's permit." Certainly we see some peers doing things like this with big bulks, bulk samples. Which in this gold market you just mentioned, gold's had a bit of a run here. And at $1,900, say gold, these ounces right sitting on surface, they add up pretty quickly. So yeah, it's something where we're certainly going to be focused on a little bit more, but not to take away from the sheer exploration we still have left to be done here on Shovelnose and, of course, our other properties as well.

Gerardo Del Real: You mentioned those ounces being potentially economic and looking further into that and I got to commend you and the team for that because I think that's a smart approach to, at the very least, explore. Right? You also mentioned in the release the subsurface continuity of the bonanza grade mineralization. Is that what is motivating, at the very least, investigating, how economic these ounces could potentially be?

Gareth Thomas: Yeah, that's an excellent point, Gerardo. I mean, we sit here, it's been a rough... I don't want to dwell on the past here.

Gerardo Del Real: Me neither.

Gareth Thomas: Everyone's had a bit of a rough go here. Well, I should say most groups, not everybody, but it's been a challenging market. And we sit here and internally we're going, "This outcrop probably justifies our market cap." I mean, I'm not going to put that on paper, but I'm saying we're thinking here this could potentially be worth our market cap sitting right here. So where certainly something we owe it to everyone to go down this road, as something just sitting there, to see whether it's us who even looks to do a sample here or is that something that entices other groups. But it's certainly intriguing and it's something we certainly feel we should be putting a bit more focus on that.

But in terms of the continuity, that's something. We've hit two veins. Well, there's actually three zones. There's one we actually had, I think, it was about, don't have it right in front of me here, but I think it was about three meters of 40 grams we had right at the top of that. 3.7 meters of almost 40 grams at the top. Then we went down another 50 meters, we hit the 12 meters. But also between there, I mean, we really had about 50 meters of 12 grams, but obviously we're not going to put in the lower grade sections and make it like a smear, so we obviously divided them, but it is quite a long interval.

So the goal here now, starting this year when we begin the drills again, though we have a lot of other targets on the property, we're going to be at least taking a few more holes to the northwest here on the Franz because we did have a hole ready to go there. In fact, we abandoned one hole due just because it was the end of the year and we had some mechanical problems on the drill, but we certainly have other targets we'll be testing here on Franz and moving further out from here along strike just to see.

But the work we've been doing here the past, well, really year, year and a half, we have pretty much a full-time modeler now. Emily, doing our modeling, done some great work. And we're seeing a lot more things now with the modeling in terms of cross faults and tons of things that you don't see on surface. We're seeing a lot of faulting, which we think is going to help us delineate drill targets moving forward here. And as mentioned, we got targets kilometers away from here as well, which are really coming together now. So it's going to be a busy year for Westhaven. One, we'll certainly be spending more time on Franz, but also we got a lot more targets to look at as well.

Gerardo Del Real: Well, I know I'm getting way ahead of myself here, but I can envision a scenario where a group possibly comes in and pays a pretty substantial premium for those Franz ounces that facilitates some really, really aggressive exploration on the multiple targets that you've been able to develop here over the years. We'll talk about that another time, Gareth. But congrats again on the great release. I'm looking forward to the release on the many targets you plan on exploring this year. And yeah, heck of a way to start 2023. Looking forward to catching back up soon.

Gareth Thomas: Sounds good, Gerardo. I appreciate it. And yeah, we'll look to catch up with you here soon.

Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. Thanks again.

Gareth Thomas: Okay, Gerardo. Bye-bye.

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