Alexandria Minerals – Eric Owens Interview (October 2017)
(DB): Daniel Barankin, CEO of 6ix
(EO): Eric Owens, CEO of Alexandria Minerals
DB: Hi Eric. Today’s an exciting day for you! Alexandria Minerals has just announced
some new drill results.
EO: Yes Daniel, thank you! We’ve had a great press release today, it’s been a while
getting it because of the delay in getting assay results because the labs are busy of
course. The results though are are really good because they fit in with our goal of trying to
build a bulk tonnage target at our principal project in Val D’or that is Orenada zone four.
These results show wide gold mineralisation, good strong grades, for example, 4.6 grams
roughly over 30 metres, that sort of widths and grades and these are all in the shallow
depths above 200 metres. Now, we’re just targeting the upper 250 metres of the zone over
a two kilometre stretch. We’re not drilling deeper and one of the important things about
these deposits is that in that part of the world they tend to be elongated in the vertical
sense so that even though we’re only testing the upper couple of hundred metres or so,
we have confidence that we’ll see this go deeper in the distant future as we we test
DB: What does this mean for the project?
EO: Yes, the results are important because have embarked on a detailed drill program – a
big 30,000 metre drill program this summer which we just recently completed in fact, and
the whole point is to gather enough data in the subsurface that gives us confidence that
we can show these gold bearing zones and gold veins are continuous in the subsurface.
That’s the whole process of getting us to our future resource estimate, our 43101
compliant resource estimate, and that requires a certain level of detail in the subsurface so
we have some fairly close based drilling going on.
These particular results deal with an area near the old open pit that a previous company –
owner of this project prior to Alexandria Minerals – dug and extracted gold from back in the
early 1990s. These confirm that the resources that they found through the digging of that
or development of that open pit confirmed that these extend further beyond that open pit
and they provide us with a level of detail in the subsurface that is going to allow us to have
some confidence that in fact we’re growing this deposit
As an example, we first started drilling on this project with this new interpretation last fall
and since that time we have drilled something over 42000 metres, and we’ve grown the
deposit in a scattered sense – as we get data in – from about 400 metres long to two
kilometres long is how far now we’re intersecting the gold bearing veins.
The recent results that we’ve been working on this summer are now filling in on that to give
us confidence that things hang together in the subsurface.
DB: It takes a lot of hard work to get a project to this point. Could you tell me about the
team behind this and their contributions to which you enlist success?
EO: Yes, we’ve got a great team. They’re principally a passionate, young, geological team
plus associated workers up at our Val D’or facility – our core logging facility and office
facility up in in Northern Quebec. Run by our VP exploration Philippe Berthelot who is an
experienced geologist, so he comes with a lot of experience, and we have another senior
geologist Denis Vermette. as well and together they help guide the the younger geologists
directing them into their various activities.
When we first started our our program on this project, that is, when we first embarked on
this new direction we’ve been heading in the past year to year and a half, we did so
tentatively with first steps, baby steps drilling. One drill rig, one geologist, and we’ve
gradually built up the number of people involved in this effort as well over the past year as
we’ve increased the number of drill rigs. So we’ve gone from one drill rig to three drill rigs
in the early part of the summer, to five drill rigs by the end of the summer to finish up this
current round of drilling.
Prior to that it took a couple of years of geological interpretation to get to a point where we
could put in reliably a 30 or 40000 metre drill program, so it’s been a combination of a lot
of people’s involvements, a lot of geological thought and a lot of discussion to get this
program aimed where where we want it to go, and that is ultimately we want to see this go
down a path where an immediate term is a 43101- that the next 43101 compliance
resource, that is an update on the last one which was done in 2009. But beyond that we
expect to expand this further with a follow up drill program as well along strike especially,
again keep trying to focus on the upper 250 metres at this stage of the game because we
see a lot of potential along the trends as well.
DB: Could you tell me a bit more about the 40000 metre drill program
EO: Yes Daniel. Actually it’s closer to 45000 metres that we’ve drilled since last fall, so
over the past year we’ve drilled approximately 45000 metres at Orenada. And we started
with one drill rig last fall – it’s been an interesting progression. We’ve made actually a lot of
progress over the past year. Last fall when we put our first smallish drill program into place
with one drill rig, we didn’t know anything about the high grade veins that existed there.
We knew that they were there, we didn’t know how they were distributed, we had an
assumption that they were flat lying and dipping low angle to the south, but there’s a new
idea for the deposit which previously was thought to be a disseminated gold deposit. We
recognised the currents of these veins we just didn’t know how far they went and where
they went, how deep they went, what their main orientation was.
So last fall was taking the baby steps and we did that first round of drilling over about a
700 metre stretch, scattered holes, a few scattered holes, and we surveyed those holes.
We managed to get good orientation data on the veins and we determined that, low and
behold, stacks of high grade veins that were oriented, shallow dipping to the south. 30 flat
line veins. But we also found that there was, between those veins, low grade
mineralisation caused by the same things that caused the gold veins themselves.
So, we embarked on a program of increasing size of drill programs to better define these
things leading to our recent drill program in the summer, culminating with this last drill
program and sort of did drill results we’d spoke of earlier today, are some of those efforts
to help us better define all these geology in that area. And it’s all going to of course lead to the 43101 resource.
It’s been a fair bit of progression so going from a year ago not knowing much about these
veins to now getting to a point where we do recognise these veins, we’ve taken a deposit
that was previously thought to be a low-grade, open pittable deposit, because we are at
shallow levels. We still are looking at this as a bulk tonnage deposit which could have
open pit possibilities, even though now we recognise these high grade veins as being
important contributor to the grade of the deposit which will give us an increase in the grade
of the deposit from the old resource, and we’ve also of course – as mentioned earlier –
increased the size of this from about 400 metres to now we’re looking at things over 2
kilometres stretch and it’s still open within that whole zone.
The current drilling program, this 45000 metres worth of drilling, is really focussed around
an 800 metre stretch around zone four plus another 4 or 500 metre stretch around zone
two which is little ways east of zone four at Orenada. Now, these things will still be open
when we’re done with this so we still have potential to see this thing grow in all directions
along the trend and depth as the case may be.
DB: What should investors expect to hear from Alexandria Minerals in the coming months?
EO: Well, we have a number of things on the go that are bubbling in the background but
our first and foremost, nearest term goal is of course an updated resource estimate for
Orenada which we are aiming to get out by the end of January of 2018, so everything
we’re doing now is aimed towards that effort. That means we have to fully understand the
geology, we have to fully have all of our assays in so all the things our geologists are
working on now that we’ve completed our drilling are aimed to getting to that point.
Beyond that, the investors will be hearing a lot of drill results coming out between now and
then as we move down this path of of getting a new resource update. We think we can
increase the resources substantially and we think we can increase the grade of the
resources substantially at zone four and zone two which is part of the Orenada property
package in Val D’or there.
Beyond that, our goal is for the mid-term – like 2018 we want to embark on another large,
even larger, drill program. We think there’s a lot of potential to grow the resources even
bigger than what we’re going to see in January, and we have a lot of open targets along
strike, that is along the trend. Again as I mentioned in all of the shallow levels, upper 250,
there’s certainly growth potential at depth below 250 metres but we’re not going to spend
money on that at this stage of the game. And the goal is to build a much bigger deposit
and do another round of resource estimates as needs be.
The goal is to ultimately find a 2-3 million ounce deposit in a place like Val D’or which
means that it’ll be a hot commodity at that time. So this is really the goal and all our
activities are focussed on those efforts.
DB: Great! Thank you Eric. Do you have any closing thoughts?
EO: Yes Daniel I do. I think I want to thank all our shareholders who’ve been quite
supportive of our endeavours. We’ve been we’ve been proceeding along a path that I think
is the right path, that I know is the right path, because the drill results we’ve spoken about
that we released today confirm that path – we’re doing something right. And every step of
the way we we’re always thinking about making sure that we’re doing the right thing.
So our shareholders certainly have allowed us to be able to march down this path. So
we’re grateful about that, we’re thrilled about the progress we’ve made. Obviously we’ve
come a long way just the past year. We’ve come through of course many – like everybody
else – miserable markets for the last five years and now we’re making a lot of progress.
We were able to raise a lot of money in 2016 and 17 and that allowed us to accomplish the
work we’ve been accomplishing.
And then finally the results speak for themselves. We are confident we are on the right
track, we’re in a great mining district in Val D’or, Quebec, we’re in a place where gold
keeps being found, it keeps being mined and new gold keeps being found. And we’re
doing that job and we think that very strongly that the activities that we are undergoing
actually are going to find a lot more gold in a well known mining camp like Val D’or. So
thank you Daniel.