Maurice Jackson: Joining us for our conversation is Chris Taylor, the president, director and CEO of Great Bear Resources Ltd. (GBR:TSX.V; GTBDF:OTCQX).
Readers should note last month we conducted a very thorough, comprehensive interview with Mr. Taylor, highlighting the value proposition before us in Great Bear Resources.
Great Bear Resources has some important updates for current and prospective shareholders regarding the company’s continued progress from the ongoing 90,000-meter drill program on his 100%-owned Dixie Gold Project in the Red Lake district of Ontario. Before we address today’s exciting press release, Mr. Taylor, for someone new to the story, please introduce us to Great Bear Resources and what is the opportunity you present to the market?
Chris Taylor: Great Bear is a Canadian gold-focused exploration company and our project, the Dixie Property, is located in one of Canada’s best high-grade gold mining jurisdictions. That’s the Red Lake area of the province of Ontario. The Dixie Gold Project is 100% owned, and it’s located immediately adjacent to a highway beside power lines and about a 20-minute drive from other existing gold mines in this area. In addition to that, it’s an infrastructure-rich, high-grade gold project with gold results that go right to the surface beside a highway.
Maurice Jackson: Mr. Taylor, we have updates regarding drill fences and the consolidation of three zones. To have a better context on the successes of today’s press release, provide us with some highlights of the LP fault drill program to date.
Chris Taylor: The LP fault is a very large gold target on our project and this is about 20 kilometers long tip to tip. From the perspective of other projects in this area, this LP fault target is about the same strike length as all the other mines in the Red Lake District put together. If you stack them up all beside each other, those mines would be about the same size as the target that we’re working on now. What we’re seeing and what we’ve announced in our most recent news release is that we’ve been drilling along many kilometers of this fault, we continue to hit gold mineralization in every area. Initially in our exploration program we thought we had different gold zones developed along the fault and we called those the Bear Rimini, the Yuma and the Auro zones.
With the recent results, what we see is that drilling between and around these areas is successfully hitting the same styles of gold mineralization. That means instead having normal sized gold zones, what we have is a very large, an unusually large, and unusually continuous gold zone that goes right to surface. This truly is a very exciting change on our understanding of the project. To date we’ve only drilled about 18%, approximately 3 kilometers of about 20 kilometers of that target, which is really encouraging, as there’s a long way to go for Great Bear and it’s very exciting to see these results coming out as they are.
Maurice Jackson: Looking at Figure 1 below, walk us through and provide shareholders with a summary of the company’s most recent results regarding drill fences along the LP fault.
Chris Taylor: The first figure in the release shows the locations of the Bear Rimini, Yuma and Auro zones. What is interesting to note is that when we put out news over the last few months, it was just a drill hole or maybe two to three drill holes in each area widely separated by a kilometer and a half or a kilometer and these zones were given separate names. Obviously before we did the drilling, we didn’t know if these all connected together into sort of a large super zone, for want of a better term.
With the drilling that we recently conducted demonstrates as displayed on Figure 1, we’re seeing the same rocks and the same styles of gold mineralization section after section after section to the point where there are now 14 drill sections. Each section has 1 to 3 drill holes across and it’s all the same geology and all the same styles of gold mineralization over that entire 3.2 kilometer area. We have enough data present now which we’re showing visually on Figure 1, that you see the continuity of mineralization and ultimately continuity is what gives you resources for a gold system like this. Seeing this kind of continuity was excellent news for the company.
Maurice Jackson: Moving onto Figure 2, what can you share with us regarding gold bearing alteration and why is this important for shareholders to note?
Chris Taylor: Effectively what’s important on Figure 2 is the size that we see in the gold bearing alteration. There are two styles of gold mineralization that we see along the LP fault. Some of this mineralization is very wide zones of lower-grade gold, the type of gold that you would see mined in some of the largest deposits in Canada. There’s a very well-known project here in Canada, which is operated by Agnico Eagle Mines, it’s a great big mining company and it has an excellent exploration and production track record. That deposit is about 12 million ounces of gold at about 1 gram per ton gold and it’s a big open pit type deposit. We see that style of alteration and gold mineralization along 3 kilometers so far of our project, which was about the same strike length as that big Malartic deposit that’s operated by Agnico Eagle. We also see high-grade gold within that as well.
As a reminder, this is high-grade gold and the low-grade massive halo around it goes right to surface. With the results that we’ve just released, we could see that in the drill core links that we drilled and published recently, we’ve seen that gold zone go up to 500 meters long along the drill core. That’s amazing in terms of a 500 meter width of the mineralized system that we see so far. That’s the kind of mineralized system you don’t typically associate with a gold deposit. That’s the sort of thing that you see in these big porphyry copper deposits and other deposits of that scale. But, usually with gold in this area, most of the gold that’s mined is only 2 meters wide; 2 meters of high-grade gold is what has produced more than 30 million ounces of production in this district. So this is the first time in this area of Ontario that anybody’s seen a gold system with this sort of scale and magnitude, strike length, depth extent over 500 meters so far when we’ve drilled it and up to 500 meters of width that we see along the core. It’s just turning into something that nobody expected to see on this scale in this area.
Maurice Jackson: Great Bear Resources provided some intriguing assay results, but before we get into those numbers, can you walk us through the 3D image of the LP fault zone and what does this convey to the technical team?
Chris Taylor: Effectively, what we show through these 3D images is consistency. Readers will see the same styles of rocks and the same mineralization kilometer after kilometer. It’s really that consistency, which is going to make this an unusual standout in terms of the size and the presence of gold to surface beside the highway. That consistency of geology section to section to section across kilometers is what we want to emphasize with that image.
Maurice Jackson: Every speculator wants to see results. We have them displayed for readers. Walk us through the results, what has peaked the team’s interest on the latest rounds of success regarding continuity?
Chris Taylor: Effectively what we see is section after section along this new target, we see that a wide-intervals of the low-grade mineralization that tends to form these open-pit type mining deposits, then we see that high-grade zones within it. What we’re noticing is that mineralization ranges from up to a 100 grams per ton over widths of say 0.5 a meter. Or you might end up with a 0.5 an ounce per ton over 3 to 4 meters. That’ll be surrounded by these wide intervals of approximately 40 meters of 2 grams per ton, or 50 meters of a 1 gram per ton, these sort of intervals.
That’s what we see effectively in the Auro area of the LP fault. We had a drill result that came out about a month ago now, which was about 40 meters of 5 grams per ton gold, and exceptional results up near the surface. Again, higher grade intervals in the middle of that. Now we’re seeing with step-out drilling, which is hundreds of meters away to the southeast and to the northwest, we see the same indications of high-grade gold flanked by lower-grade mineralization. It’s consistent in that consistency is what’s driving this story. It’s that combination of factors, which is really setting these new discoveries apart from anything else that’s been found in this district before.
Maurice Jackson: The press release highlights holes BR 21 and BR 22; walk us through the cross section of BR 21 on figure four and why is this important?
Chris Taylor: BR 21 was drilled partially between what we called the Auro discovery and another discovery about a kilometer away. This is about 200 meters away from the Auro discovery towards the Yuma area. BR 21 showed some 0.5 ounce mineralization, again right up near surface and the same flanking intervals of the lower grade gold mineralization, again right near surface. BR 21 was a shallow test of the mineralization to see if it went right to surface in that area and towards the other zone.
The other section that we put out is BR 22, which is to the southeast of our original discovery hole. That had again some 100 gram gold material flanked by I believe it was about 40 meters of about 2 grams per ton gold around that as well, and that was a deeper test. In the deeper holes, what we saw in this system is that as we’ve gone deeper in that Auro area, the zone is really flaring out to this exceptional width of seeing multiple gold intervals over 500 meters. So that’s the significance of the BR 21 section and the BR 22 section. Both flanking, they both bracket that original Auro zone discovery hole as well. You have continuity across 300 meters in that area of the high-grade and the low to moderate grade gold. Going right to surface and also looking like it expands to depth, which is also another significant finding.
Maurice Jackson: Let’s discuss zone consolidation, which zones are being consolidated and what prompted this move?
Chris Taylor: Effectively, all of the zones that we’ve drilled along the LP fault, there were three of them prior to this news release. They’ve all been merged together because with 14 drill fences, each with 1 to 3 drill holes across that three kilometers strike length, we’re seeing the same mineralization at all locations. That means that we’re not looking at separate gold zones at all, we’re looking at a large continuously mineralized gold zone. That was the very significant finding that we came out with recently.
Maurice Jackson: Before we leave Great Bear Resources property bank, the business and geological acumen continues to exceed market expectations. What can you share with us regarding properties that are earning a 100% royalty free interest?
Chris Taylor: Projects are exceptionally unusual in that sense. When we purchased the Dixie Project, to give you a little bit of history, it was owned by two different parties. One of them was Newmont at the time, the large American mining firm; it owned about a 33% interest in the project. The other one was a local prospector who’d managed to accumulate a 67% interest in the property and also some of the outstanding royalties. Now when Great Bear became the owners under option of this property three years ago, we negotiated that we would buy out the royalties to the project so it wouldn’t be burdened by any of those factors. We also bought out, eventually, Newmont Mining as well; we did that before we did any drilling. We knew that if we were successful on the project and we had not bought these people out in their entirety, ultimately the purchase price would have been much, much higher.
So we managed to get a very good, fair deal for our shareholders. It doesn’t have any royalty overhangs on the project at all. That means that all the benefit of what we’re finding in the ground flows to our company’s shareholders. That’s why with our share structure currently sitting at about 42 million shares issued and outstanding, that’s a much tighter share structure than you see with most companies in our position. We do have a great deal of cash in the treasury as well, about CA$18 million at this point, about $24 million on a partially diluted basis. That’s enough money that we can basically do hundreds of drill holes on the project over 2019 and 2020 without the requirement to finance again. So that combination of 100% ownership that you mentioned, the lack of a royalty overhang and the tight share structure are the combined dominant reasons why the project and the company is performing so well in the context of its group of peers.
Maurice Jackson: Closing, multilayered question. What is the next unanswered question for Great Bear Resources? When can we expect a response and what determines success?
Chris Taylor: I think the way to answer that, Maurice, is to point at what makes a project unique and what makes it successful. In our case, what you’re looking at is a very active exploration program with results that come out very frequently. This is something that generally guides the market and progresses the market so people don’t have to wait months or years between progress on the project, it comes out weekly or every few weeks at the latest. What you’re seeing on top of that is those combinations of structure and the unusual discovery. So thinking about the geology and the nature of gold mineralization, how many comparable pure companies out there can tell you that all the gold that they’re drilling goes right within a few meters of the surface? That all that gold is being found only a mile or two from a paved highway? And the main gold zones actually run parallel to the highway? And are only about a 20-minute drive from other major producing gold mines in the region? Those are all factors that combine to make Great Bear stand out from its group of peers.
Maurice Jackson: Chris, what keeps you up at night that we don’t know about?
Chris Taylor: To be honest, one of the things that keeps me up at night is a sort of a level of buzzing excitement. I feel it, I’m on the project right now, I’m out, I’m talking to the geologists all the time. When you’re drilling as actively as we are, there are multiple drill holes going in across kilometers of these targets. When you see gold coming out of the ground on these things and you see the assays coming back from the lab, I wake up every day and wonder what has come in overnight and how much bigger the system has gotten, where we’ve expanded into, what field crews have found while they’re looking around the project. It’s that level of excitement that keeps me awake at night. It’s been such an exciting ride so far, but from the perspective of discovery, we’re really just getting started on this property. It’s like very much the size of a gold district in and of its own right. So it’s large, it’s multi-target and the excitement is really what gets me out of bed very quickly every morning.
Maurice Jackson: Mr. Taylor, what did I forget to ask?
Chris Taylor: Well, one of the things that people always ask me about is how big could the project be? I think there are some very reasonable comparisons; there are other large district discoveries in Canada and in other gold belts in the world. If people are curious, the company posts many of the interviews and webinars and other things that my partner Bob Singer, our VP of exploration, and I present to the public. In some of those there are comparisons to other large deposits that we see in Canada that have been exceptional large scale producers and exceptional recent discoveries. If people want to understand the scope of the system, some of those things make direct comparisons in terms of the types of high-grade discoveries, the types of big bulk tonnage of discoveries and I think if anybody’s interested in our story, maybe go to our website: www.greatbearresources.ca and watch some of that video material. It can be entertaining and it can also give you an idea for what we’re working on here and how big it could be.
Maurice Jackson: For direct inquiries, call (604) 646-8354 or you may email: [email protected]. Great Bear Resources trades on the TSX-V: GBR | OTCQX: GTBDF.
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Chris Taylor of Great Bear Resources, thank you for joining us today on Proven and Probable.
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