SOURCE: VantageWire.com -- Advancements on one of the Yukon’s newest gold discoveries continue to roll in, as Aben Resources [ABN:CA] opened its 2013 calendar year with an update on its 100% owned, 18,314-acre Justin Gold Project. Analysis of both the 2011 and 2012 drill results confirmed an intrusion-related gold system that the team had been targeting. This type of mineralization mimics that of other further-developed successful Tintina Gold Belt projects, such as Kinross’ [K:CA] Fort Knox mine in Alaska, and Victoria Gold’s [VIT:CA] Dublin Gulch Project in the Yukon.
Quickly emerging as the hottest target of the entire Justin Project is that of the POW Zone, which is a significant new greenfield gold discovery that has produced highlights such as 60.0 metres of 1.19 g/t Au including 21.0m of 2.47 g/t Au. Additional drilling in 2012 yielded further notable grades with economic potential, including 46.4 metres of 1.49 g/t Au. Most important to note has been that all holes completed to target depths on the POW Zone have intersected gold mineralization with plenty of expansion potential as the zone continues to remain open in all directions.
JUSTIN PROPERTY - OVERVIEW
Located in the southeast Yukon, within the Tintina Gold Belt, the Justin Property is only 35 kilometres southeast of the Cantung Mine. Thanks to this presence, accessibility is enhanced on the property due to year-round servicing of the road that leads to Cantung. This added bonus of proximity allowed Aben and its team to stay up in the area well into September of 2012, which is a luxury among Yukon plays that typically have access issues.
Preparations for further exploration work was completed during 2012 including winterizing the camp in order to potentially get an earlier start in 2013. This work plants the seeds for a future staging ground for the field programs for years to come.
Going into its third full year as the flagship of the Aben portfolio, the Justin Property has crossed off some important to-do list items. Now the fixed costs of establishing a camp are out of the way, and the company should have an easier time accruing data for future drilling campaigns.
As well, much of the bureaucratic milestones have also been achieved. On the whole, the Yukon is quite a friendly jurisdiction for mining endeavours, including headache-free exploration permitting. This last year Aben acquired a 5-year exploration permit, which affords the company ample time to carry out any exploratory work they see fit, including ground work, geophysics and drilling.
THE POW ZONE – PRIMARY TARGET
A relatively new discovery, the POW Zone is the blue chip of the Justin Property. The POW discovery was serendipitous, as previous attention was solely focused on exploring and drill testing three other showings on the property before showings from the POW changed everything at the close of 2011. An offbeat decision to plunk a few holes down into this zone based on some surface samples led to very positive results. From the very first hole onward, the company knew that they were into something game changing, with easily visible mineralization in the core.
After a discovery hole unearthed 60m of 1.19 g/t Au, the company immediately drilled a second hole beneath to trace and confirm mineralization which intersected 11.3m of 2.70 g/t Au.
At this point the company knew they were sitting on a brand new Greenfields discovery in the Yukon, which is hard to ignore. The only other company in this particular area of the Yukon is Northern Tiger Resources [NTR:CA], which respectfully have also seen some pleasant results over the last few years.
Aben’s technical team was excited by showings of a multi-phased system (meaning that they were dealing with multiple mineralization settings) that is hosting gold mineralization. They have seen gold hosted within skarn zones, as well as in quartz veins that have overprinted the other types of mineralization which shows that the system was long lasting. All these signs pointed to what could confidently be labeled as a “powerful” geological system.
As we began to learn more about this new discovery, it was quickly realized that Aben barely scratched the surface in 2011. After many months devoted to geological analysis, and the efforts of the team pouring over the data, Aben confirmed that they had discovered an intrusion-related gold system.
The importance of this revelation comes when you look at other intrusion-related systems in the Yukon and Alaska in the Tintina gold belt. Two of the more notable deposits of this nature are Kinross’ Fort Knox operation (which has been in operation for the last 15 years), which produces 250,000 oz Au per year and still has 4 million ounces in reserves; and the other being a little closer to the Justin Project, which is the Dublin Gulch/Eagle Gold deposit, which is being developed by Victoria Gold that has an indicated resource of 4.8 million oz Au. For both of these deposits, the bulk of the mineralization is within the intrusion itself, as well as the contact zone around the intrusion where further depositions of precious metals can be found.
What Aben hit in 2011 turned out to be a skarn zone, just outside on the contact of this intrusion. The technical team acknowledged this as a big bonus, knowing they can target not only the contact, but the intrusion itself which is a multi-kilometre sized stock. From the first three holes, the consistency of mineralization in the drill intervals imply that with more drilling the company could quickly prove up a resource.
After tracing mineralization along surface for about 450m west-to-east, 200m north-to-south, and over 200m at depth, Aben has outlined a sizeable zone with less then a dozen holes having been drilled. This target is also open in all directions.
The geophysical mag survey done on the property outlined at least seven or eight other high-priority targets in the vicinity. A lot of these correspond with other potential skarn zones around the intrusion. Going forward, the company will likely want to test those as well as the intrusive stock itself. So while there was much progress made in 2012, Aben has truly just scratched the surface of the POW Zone.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The reason why we need to get our technical hats on when looking at this project is that for those who can understand the terms, the POW is a huge selling point for the company. At the end of the day, the company is still trading at a low point in its history, after what was a very tough year for the sector.
Aben’s game plan going forward over the next few months could take a few different forms. If they can find a partner on the project, that would help them significantly in continuing the exploration work needed. Perhaps an even better scenario would have this needed backing coming in the form of a strategic investor.
It’s worth noting that no one is pretending that Aben has drilled incredibly high-grade bonanza type holes so far, but they have discovered an intrusion related system with striking similarities to the previously mentioned comparables; Ft Knox, Dublin Gulch and even Brewery Creek (which was brought into production by current Aben Chairman Ron Netolitzky). All three of these started off as a few drill holes and a discovery for companies that were trading for only a couple pennies.
For the newer sets of eyes looking at this company for the first time, it’s worth mentioning that there is also some blue sky accompanying the Justin Property, in the form of the massive Selwynn Recce Property in the NWT, which has several showings of precious and base metals. Over the last decade, collectively there’s been about $9 million spent exploring this large project, including a regional scale program that Aben carried out in 2011. Today the company holds what appears to be a valuable proprietary database unlike any other in the NWT. The company may try to leverage this knowledge for a monetary gain to help fund further drilling on the Justin.
Where 2010 and 2011 were very bullish for the Yukon, 2012 saw the Territory fall out of favour. Perhaps the pendulum effect was at play, leading to an oversold environment amongst Yukon companies.
Yukon stocks also tend to see some softening up in November and December once results are announced and the winter months loom ahead. Due to this trend, Yukon companies tend to have more severe tax loss selling associated with them. The New Year creates a buying opportunity to reload on these companies that have been oversold.
G. Joel Chury
for the Bottom Line Report
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