Maurice Jackson: Joining us for a conversation is Freeman Smith, the vice president of exploration for Riverside Resources Inc. (RRI:TSX.V; RVSDF:OTCQB).
Glad to have you on the program to discuss the latest developments coming from Riverside Resources Where Knowledge Is Golden. Mr. Smith, you have some exciting developments to share with readers regarding Riverside Resources' footprint expansion in Ontario. Freeman, take us to Ontario and provide us with some historical mining context on the province.
Freeman Smith: I think we know that Ontario is one of the larger mining districts in the world, particularly the Greenstone Belt, one of the most famous being Timmins, which has produced several hundred million ounces over its lifetime, and it has a lot more share with us. A lesser known but not lesser significant is the Geraldton Greenstone Belt, which is just to the west of the Timmins Greenstone Belt and it hosts a number of deposits. The one that it's quite interesting and got us into the area is the Hardrock gold deposit, which is currently at about 8.5 Moz. in reserves and resources.
Maurice Jackson: Speaking of the Geraldton Belt, Mr. Smith, please provide us some context for today's discussion by introducing the Beardmore Geraldton Gold Belt.
Freeman Smith: Well, Beardmore Geraldton, as the name implies, extends from a little town called Beardmore, east to another town called Geraldton, which is a larger mining district with quite a history. The nearest city would be Thunder Bay to the south and Timmins to the east. It's probably in the order of 250 kilometers long and about 40 kilometers wide, and it hosts a number of deposits both past and present. One of the reasons we're there is because of Greenstone's activity in the area.
Maurice Jackson: Germane to the Beardmore Geraldton Gold Belt, Riverside has made a strategic acquisition there. Please introduce us to the newest project in the property bank.
Freeman Smith: The newest project is called the Pichette. It's named after the original prospector that prospected in the area and found the Pichette Showing, which is near our project boundary. It's high-grade gold in shear zones, very similar to other deposits and mines in the area. Looking at the Geraldton Greenstone Belt, this is a generalization of the whole area. The trend seems to be with mines tending along the road. The big elephant in the room, the reason we're there, the one that attracted us to the area is called the Hardrock deposit. It's been known about for a while and it was developed by Premier Mining. Eventually it brought in the partner Centerra Gold and they've been talking about production and going into production in the near future. That deposit itself with reserves and resources is over 8 million ounces, so by world standards it's of high quality and it's an elephant by any means.
Our project, the Pichette, in particular has a very similar geology in that it has steeply dipping metavolcanic units that are plunging gently to the west. This is what they've found at the bulk of their mineralization at Geraldton. That and the general jurisdiction being high in quality. You can see all the little red dots on the map. Those are prospects where people have sampled gold and have done small amounts of work, whether it be prospecting or drilling, one may not be able to tell from the map, but you can see that the area is pretty prolific for its gold.
Maurice Jackson: Freeman, why is this the right project for Riverside Resources and why now?
Freeman Smith: Well, as you know, we're expanding into Canada, out of Mexico. Something we've been doing all summer. We like this part of Canada because of the past mining production successes and particularly high-grade gold. The Leitch Mine, very close to one of our projects and close to the Pichette is in the order of an ounce per ton, which is high-grade by any standard anywhere in the world.
But also, if you notice looking at the diagram, there's a highway going right through it. That's one of the major corridors and arteries for Ontario. It has access and situated right along it is a major power line and a natural gas pipeline, the Canadian national pipeline actually. So access to those, power, water, road, mining expertise, particularly in Geraldton and Thunder Bay, it's all wrapped up in one little package for this area. International Airport at Thunder Bay is maybe two hours to the south, so that's a good place to be working.
Maurice Jackson: Which, Freeman, if I may interject here, that's very intriguing for a joint venture, or perspective joint venture partner there. It looks like you've reduced a lot of the capital expenditures by strategically having this location here in the Pichette Gold Project.
Freeman Smith: Absolutely, I think that's one of the biggest attractions to the area. I like the idea of being able to drive my car up to the drill pad, one of the attractions for this area for sure. And as you may probably already know that permitting in Canada in general and in Ontario is excellent. Typically you apply for a permit and you have your answer within 50 days. So right now we have permits for most of our projects. Not on the Pichette yet because it's just a new discovery, we've only been looking at it for a month, but we anticipate permits in place before Christmas or shortly after.
Permitting in Ontario is pretty straightforward. It's a matter of filling out the right forms, connecting and contacting with First Nations and telling them what you're going to do. And after that there's a pretty simple procedure that you go through to get to the point of being able to drill.
Maurice Jackson: Now Freeman one more thing that's important here is what is the relationship with the First Nations there?
Freeman Smith: The First Nation is Ontario. They're pretty progressive as far as mining and mineral exploration goes. They understand the industry, so that always makes things easier in that they know what you're doing and they're not suspicious of maybe something they don't want to see happen in their territories as happening. But these particular First Nations people in this area, we've already discussed with them and met with them and talked to them about our projects and details. They're generally encouraging. They like to see the idea of jobs coming into the area. They like to see what they think of as their lands being developed for their future generations as well. Their big concerns are always environmental, which is something that we of course would be looking at in very close attention to anyways.
Maurice Jackson: Now what type of work has Riverside conducted in the field and what has your attention there the most?
Freeman Smith: We spent the good part of the month of November and the colder weather looking at what had been done in the past. There have been two drilling campaigns on the property. Some of this core is on site and some of it is being stored in Thunder Bay at the ministry's warehouse, core warehouse. We looked at that first before we went in the field to get an idea for what we might expect to see on the surface, and we spent several days to a week driving the new roads. That area's been recently logged, so it's opened up the area and of course logging has roads, which are what essentially are known as trenches to geologists, they provide excellent exposure. So we drove these roads, we did some mapping, sampling, prospecting and carried out looking at the old trenches and the old drilling areas to see what we could learn there, and then we got chased out by the snow. So that was it for this season.
Maurice Jackson: Has Riverside identified prospective drill targets yet?
Freeman Smith: Yes. We've identified a number of targets related to contact zones and faults, which is fairly typical for orogenic deposits in Ontario. This sketch here is a generalized map, but what it does show is a large contact between the metaseds and the metavolcanics, and along this fault bounded contact you do find mineralization. You will find mineralization here, but also in the larger faults within the metavolcanics.
This one in particular in this banded iron formation. Banded iron information is sometimes responsible for hosting mineralization. Sometimes it's in close proximity and in the Geraldton Greenstone Belt it seems that you always find this character playing a part of the role, whether he's directly hosting the mineralization or whether he's part of the package, it seems that the banded affirmations are always nearby.
And much like Geraldton you see these other boxes here that are described as nose folds, and in Geraldton and elsewhere you see deposition along the nose of the folds and even see this in Campbell and Campbell Lake and other areas where people are going back to old mineralized areas and looking at the structural geology and mapping out where this mineralization may be trending, and that's common. What happens is we tend to set up our drills and we drill on centers and continue drilling until the program's finished, not getting a chance to actually look at the structural geology, which is often one of the more important components of the deposition and hosting of the mineralization.
So in summary, I guess we have two types of potential hosts here. One would be sheer hosted and the other would be structurally hosted within the nose of folds.
Maurice Jackson: Now Freeman, can you please walk us through the cross section?
Freeman Smith: This one's a fairly simplified and basic cross section, but for the most part we're in what is known as the southern volcanic panel, or belt, of the Beardmore Geraldton Greenstone Belt and most of these panels, they dip steeply to the south, which it doesn't show here exactly, but those are dipping to the south. And then you have to the south an intrusive body here, which is usually a good thing to see. There's your heat source and maybe your engine for moving mineralized fluids around, concentrating them. And then to the north, which is gray, you have the metasedimentary rocks and these rocks in themselves can be fairly good hosts, but they're also letting you know that you're close to an important train boundary, which is mapped by the fault there, the squiggly black lines, and this is also an area where you may find mineralization as well.
Maurice Jackson: Before we close, what is the next unanswered question at the Pichette? When can we expect an answer and what determines success?
Freeman Smith: I think that the immediate next step would be getting permits. Now that we've completed our conversations and consultation with First Nations, I think we should be receiving those before Christmas. That will allow us to either go back out ourselves or go back out with a partner. What will determine success in that respect will be access and we have excellent access. So getting out to do what we want to do should be fairly simple at this point, in this stage, once we get permits.
Maurice Jackson: And let me ask you this, Mr. Smith, how about geophysics?
Freeman Smith: Geophysics is something that we consider like the next step. We've defined targets, but I think geophysics is the way to confirm and further support your theories for targeting and drilling, and that would be something we look at doing early in the new year if possible, possibly extending maybe into the spring.
Maurice Jackson: Mr. Smith, for someone listening that wants to get more information on Riverside Resources, please share the contact details.
Freeman Smith: rivres.com.
Maurice Jackson: As a reminder, Riverside Resources trades on the (TSX.V: RRI | OTCQB: RVSDF).
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