British Columbia’s historic Cariboo Mining District has a rich mining history going back decades. Green River Gold is focused on unlocking the vast potential across the region, predominantly setting its sights on hard rock gold discoveries. The Edmonton-based mineral resource explorer continues to advance its trio of projects in the region, with a recent discovery at its Quesnel Nickel project.
Joining us today to learn a little more about this exciting topic is the company’s CEO, Perry Little.
TMH: Perry, since you were last here with us, your company has had some promising news on a number of different mineral fronts at your Quesnel Property, which is primarily a nickel-alloy mineralization project. Bring us up to date with what’s going on there as far as the latest discovery…
PL: I’m going to backtrack a little bit. First, because you mentioned gold, I should tell you how we ended up there. We were originally looking for gold in the Cariboo Mining District, the site of the original Cariboo Gold Rush back in the 1860s and 1870s. We acquired and staked 93 square kilometres of property adjacent to where Osisko Development Corp. is in the process of building its Cariboo Gold Mine. At the time, it was Barkerville Gold Mines and right after we staked the ground, Osisko came and purchased Barkerville Gold Mines and started putting a lot of capital into the area. The area has got a bit of a spotlight. Originally, we went up there for the gold, but when we staked the property – it’s 93 square kilometres – we knew that about 20 square kilometres of it in the northwest portion is prone to nickel. We knew that, but we thought it might be a sideline project. It’s turned out to be the main stage at this point.
There was also a well-documented talc deposit on that end of the property, and talc is kind of like soapstone. It has about a $3 billion annual market, quite valuable stuff in its own right, and they studied it quite extensively with the idea of doing a stand-alone talc mine. We knew that was on there as well, but it was a secondary interest at the time. That changed last year when we completed a magnetic survey on the entire 93 square kilometres and found there was a huge magnetic image coming up out of the area where we knew it was prone to nickel, but it surprised us with the intensity. The colour showed up on the map as purple, so we named it Deep Purple – just keeping with the rock band theme, the stock symbol is CCR, wait till you see what we’ll name the quartz veins.
Anyway, when we did the Magnetic survey, it kind of jumped out at us, but when I looked at it, I thought there must be something wrong with the survey because it showed a magnetic signature coming off the area where the talc was known to exist. There’s an area where the talc was well documented, and I thought, why are we getting a magnetic signature from talc, which is more or less soapstone? We went over, and we drilled a few shallow holes in it, and it turned out the reason we were getting a magnetic signature is we’ve got a fairly rare situation – which has a significant amount of nickel as well as chromium, along with the talc.
Sort of an unusual situation. It’s not totally unheard of, it does exist on the planet. There are people managing to mine it, and we’re going to be doing a lot of metallurgical work to see how that works.
So at this time, we’re excited by finding nickel with the talc and that that could be a standalone project of its own. Talc sells for about $270 US per milled tonne, and we have a lot of it, so that alone could be something. Our geologists at the time told us that the nickel grades, which were about 0.15% in the assays where it was in with the talc, would, in all likelihood, be higher as we moved away from the talc, and they were right. We drilled a couple of holes on the other end of this large outcrop, which we call Zone One, and the nickel grades were considerably higher. We thought, let’s go a little further out in the field, and we went eight kilometres further southeast on the Deep Purple zone, which is 14 kilometres long, and we found another large outcrop, which is about 1.4 kilometres by 800 meters, and we drilled some shallow holes in there. We call the new outcrop Zone 2.
We have drilled 17 holes now, and the grade is better. We’re averaging about 0.2 of a percent, and that may not sound that significant, but there is a project that I really like up in the northern part of BC, and it is the Turnagain project run by Giga Metals. They have come up with, can’t remember how many tons – it’s large, it’s significant, 2.3 million tons roughly, of nickel they found up there. Their grade is about 0.22% nickel, so not significantly different from what we’re seeing and like us, theirs is near surface. The reason I mention it is that these types of projects are gathering attention. Mitsubishi, a few weeks ago, put 8 million dollars into that Turnagain project for a 15% stake, which would value that property at over $50 million, and I wish them well with it. We think we may have something very similar. We’ve basically moved on from Zone One, and the exciting area now is Zone Two.
TMH: How does that news change your exploration approach there
PL: Zone Two is the focus now, we’ll poke around, and we’ll continue to do metallurgical work on Zone One, where the talc is, but we’re going to focus on higher-grade nickel, and we could have a lot of it. What we’ve done is we have just begun, the other day actually, with what they call a Winkie drill, designed by a gentleman by the name of Wink decades ago. They’ve sold these things for the last, I don’t know, 50 or 60 years, and he was a Canadian guy out of Manitoba. The Winkie drill will go down about a hundred meters, and it’s sort of a semi-portable drill. We’re drilling 10 holes with hundred-meter spacing on Zone Two in the area where we found the highest grades. We did 17 shallow holes, and we focused on the area where the higher grades were.
We hope to have those holes drilled over the next few months. Fortunately, where we are, we’re very close to infrastructure, so we can drive right up to Zone Two. I make it sound easy. I make it sound like it’s a big plateau, but it’s not, you’re in the Cariboo Mountains, it’s pretty rugged, and there are cliffs and big changes in elevation. You can see a giant piece of rock sticking up from the ground – that’s what Zone Two looks like. It’s not flat by any means. We are going to drill 10 holes, hopefully, get down to about a hundred meters in each one, that’ll give us a good idea and then we’ll go from there. We’ve already sent samples to the lab to be assayed. We use an XRF gun, which is X-ray fluorescence, to guide our day-to-day exploration, and the great thing is we have our shop 45 minutes away from where we’re drilling, so we actually bring the drill core back every day and zap it with the XRF gun and get a reading of what’s in it. So far, the XRF has been very accurate as far as nickel and chromium grades. Compared to the assays we get back if anything, the assays come back a little higher than the XRF readings.
TMH: You’ve also got the nearby Fontaine Lode Gold Project as well as the Kymar Silver Project, what are the latest developments there?
PL: Yeah, the Fontaine Load Gold, as I mentioned, that’s 93 square kilometres altogether, and it’s actually one big package of property. It’s just that 20 square kilometres off to the northwest end of it are more prone to nickel. The other 73, roughly, square kilometres are right on the main fairway that connects down from Osisko, where they’re building a gold mine next door to us, and goes down through Spanish Mountain Gold, Imperial Metals is down there to the south of us, and Karus Gold, which is 27% owned by Eric Sprott – that all comes down all on the same fault. We’re right in the middle of it. We’ll be doing a bit of work on that one. Finding the gold there can be tricky because you have a lot of overburden, and the overburden is simply glacial till, it’s like gravel, it’s loose unconsolidated stuff that sits on top of the hard rock, and it makes it a little more difficult because in most places in the Cariboo, you don’t have these outcrops as we have where nickel is. We’ll be focused on trying to find a few of the outcrops over there while doing some soil sampling and checking for where good drill locations may be.
The other project, Kymar Silver, is the only one that we own that is not right in our backyard and connected and within a half-hour or 45-minute drive from Quesnel. Kymar Silver is about three and a half or four hours away from Calgary, actually, in the southeast end of BC, closer to Calgary than it is to Vancouver, and it is a significant piece of property that has old artisanal silver mines on it. These are the old ‘mom and pop’ type mines, where they would drive an adit into the side of the mountain where they saw a big vein sticking out and haul out the high-grade ore. Our geologist is just arriving there today actually to do about a week’s work, and he is going to go up to two of the old areas. He will see if he can find two of the old adits and take samples from where there was high-grade silver, copper and lead mined in the past and reported. We think we’ve got something there too. That’s early stage, but as I said, there are old mine workings to focus on as a starting point.
TMH: We’ve talked about the past and present, what’s on the horizon now for Green River Gold as we head into the fall and winter?
PL: We’ll be doing those 10 Winkie drill holes. We’ve also got three to do in Zone One, but we’re focused on Zone Two. We’ll get those done over the next few weeks, and then from that, we will decide what to do in terms of deeper drilling and get permits and plan for deeper holes, but we’ll be driven by the data that we get from these ones. We’ll also be sending in samples for metallurgical testing both in the talc area, which is interesting and in Zone Two, so we can get an idea of what type of nickel we have. We’re hopeful that we’re going to find out that our nickel is in the form of pentlandite, which is what Giga Metals has. Keep your fingers crossed for that one because pentlandite is easy to recover by froth flotation. That’s what we’re looking for. We’ll also continue to step out with the backpack drill and look for other interesting areas. There are some smaller outcrops that we can drill with the backpack drill, and that’s a one-man drill. We can drill as many holes with that as we want without permits. That’s all on the go for the next few weeks, which is a lot.
TMH: Is there anything we haven’t touched on or mentioned yet that’s important to mention to our viewers and your investors?
PL: Yeah, just in case people aren’t aware, we have great proximity to infrastructure with our major projects, the Nickel Project and the Gold Project. We’re 45 minutes from our shop, and we have a 6,000-square-foot shop in the city of Quesnel. Quesnel is about 20,000 people, it’s on the main north-south thoroughfare, Highway 97, that goes through that part of the province. It’s on the main rail line. They have an airport. We’re surrounded by other mining operations as well. The infrastructure is wonderful. We’re about 15 kilometres away from where Osisko is putting through a three-phase power line to their new proposed goldmine. Everything from an infrastructure standpoint is wonderful. It cuts down our costs dramatically. We can use our own people. They can go and drill all day and go back and sleep in their own bed. There’s no need for a camp. Nobody has a fly-in or out. It’s a spectacular advantage for us.
Thanks again for joining us at The Market Herald today, Perry, we look forward to chatting with you again soon.
We’ve been speaking with Perry Little, the CEO of Green River Gold. The company trades on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker symbol CCR. You can also visit them at greenrivergold.com.
Once again, I’d like to thank Mr. Little for joining us today to learn more about his company and share his insights with our Top Line audience and his investors.
FULL DISCLOSURE: This is a paid article produced by The Market Herald.