The Golden Triangle (GT) of northwestern British Columbia has been one of the best performing mining districts for precious and base metals juniors. Of roughly 30 names I'm tracking, as of the close on June 30, the Top 3 are up an average of +1,536% (!) from their respective 52-week lows. The Top 5 are up an average +1,238%, Top 8; +940%, Top 12; +734% and Top 15; +632%. . .
A name that I've written about in the past, Scottie Resources Corp. (SCOT:TSX.V) has gained an impressive +273%, but I believe it has room to run upon further exploration successes this season.
Last year Scottie discovered multiple high-grade surficial targets on its newly acquired Summit Lake claims and had exciting drill results on its Bow and Scottie Gold Mine properties. Bow saw modest drilling, but delivered notable hits like 73.3 g/t Au over 4.3 meters (4.3m), incl. 152.5 g/t over 1.9m, on the Bend Vein, and 7.4 g/t Au over 34.8m, including 14.3 g/t over 14.0m, on the Blueberry Vein. The longest drill hole to date on the Scottie Gold Mine property returned an interval of 7.3 g/t Au over a fairly long 25.0m, including 11.7 g/t over 11.0m.
In 2019 Scottie acquired the 4,877-hectare Summit Lake property, which had been in private hands and barely explored for 20+ years. Grab samples taken by Scottie's team returned blockbuster grades, including 536 g/t Au, 63 g/t Au, 2,290 g/t Ag and 2,000 g/t Ag. A new discovery at Summit Lake, the Domino zone, had some of the best grab samples and will be a big part of this season's exploration activities.
Under CEO Brad Rourke, Scottie Resources has grown from about 400 hectares (400 ha) in 2017 to 24,589 ha (nine properties), contained largely in two contiguous blocks. Rourke plans a minimum of 5,000 meters of drilling this summer/fall, and possibly more, if results are strong and weather permits. Management recently attracted Eric Sprott as a cornerstone investor, and is sitting on just over CA$5M in cash.
The company's valuation is attractive, and right in the sweet spot of GT peers. Companies like Skeena Resources Ltd. (SKE:TSX.V), GT Gold Corp. (GTT:TSX.V), Tudor Gold Inc. (TUD:TSX.V) and Ascot Resources Ltd. (AOT:TSX.V) are much larger. I think these four are potential acquirers of Scottie, especially Pretium Resources Inc. (PVG:TSX; PVG:NYSE) and Ascot, both of whom share borders with Scottie. By the end of next year, management will have the results from two more drill seasons, possibly putting it in position to deliver a maiden mineral resource estimate.
With all of these balls in the air, Mr. Rourke is a very busy man. I caught up with him last week for the following interview.
Peter Epstein: Brad, Scottie Resources owns nine properties covering 24,589 hectares. Eight are split between two contiguous blocks sharing borders with Pretium and Ascot Resources. What can you tell us about these properties?
Brad Rourke: Scottie has been an aggressive consolidator of claims in the GT. We have grown from ~400 hectares in 2017 to nearly 24,600 hectares spread across nine properties today. Based on the nature and locations of the mineralizing systems and major structures, we're working the nine properties as two larger contiguous blocks, the Scottie Gold Mine and Cambria projects.
The Scottie Gold Mine project includes the Scottie Gold Mine, Bow, Summit Lake and Stock properties. Exploration on this 8,728-hectare block will be focused on high-grade gold mineralization akin to our past-producing operation.
Our second contiguous block is the 14,243-hectare Cambria project. It contains four properties (Black Hills, Ruby Silver, Bitter Creek and Portland), bordered to the east by Ascot Resources' Red Mountain project, and to the north by Pretium Resources. Crews are currently on-site conducting soil sampling and geologic mapping. The focus at Cambria is more on silver-rich, polymetallic vein systems in the southern portion (Bitter Creek and Black Hills), and high-grade gold in the northern portion.
The Sulu property is 1.5 kilometers (1.5 km) northwest of Summit Lake and 7 km northeast of the past-producing Granduc Mine. This 1,617-hectare property hosts significant potential for both VMS (volcanogenic massive sulfide) mineralization and high-grade precious metal veins. In 2017, an airborne geophysical survey was flown that produced a number of coincident electromagnetic (EM) and magnetic anomalies, but the work was not followed up on.
Peter Epstein: Please describe the details of your 2020 exploration plans.
Brad Rourke: We are very excited to pick up where we left off, with a fully-funded 5,000-meter drill program on Bow's Blueberry vein, past-producing Scottie Gold Mine and the Domino zone on the Summit Lake claims. We're conducting an airborne time domain electromagnetic survey on 5,800 hectares of the Scottie Gold Mine project and structure-focused geological mapping of key showings. We also plan to do detailed IP (induced polarization) surveys of multiple drill targets, explore areas of glacial ablation and other follow-up on high-grade showings from 2019.
Peter Epstein: By market cap, Scottie is the tenth largest pre-production junior in the Golden Triangle. Is Scottie similar to any other peers in the district?
Brad Rourke: We see ourselves enjoying an optimal combination of features. We have high-grade gold, host a past-producing mine [nearly 100k ounces @ 16.2 g/t gold], have road accessible projects, a sizable land package hosting two contiguous blocks, and acquired a nearly 5,000-hectare property that was in private hands for over 20 years. That property, Summit Lake, is untested by drilling.
Peter Epstein: Please tell readers about your flagship Scottie Gold mine property, including recent drill results and plans for 2020.
Brad Rourke: The past-producing Scottie Gold Mine was discovered as veins outcropping at surface. Old-timers chased the vein into the mountain. Historic drilling was done primarily for production; little effort was given to identifying other brownfield targets. When we acquired the property, we took a step back to do modern property-scale exploration.
We tested and confirmed some of our theories by drilling the longest hole ever on the property, and we intersected an interval of 11.7 g/t gold over 11m. The positioning of this hole clearly illustrates that the deposit was neither mined out, nor drilled off. It remains open at depth and along strike. Past drilling delivered some tremendous assays to build on [see results below].
Peter Epstein: Last year's grab samples on the Summit Lake property included 537.3 g/t Au eq. (gold equivalent) and 63.6 g/t Au eq. in the Domino zone; 34.4 g/t Au eq. in the Kingpin zone; and 29.6 g/t Aueq. in the Mayor zone. Please explain the next steps for Summit Lake.
Brad Rourke: Last season was our first pass on the property. In fact, for much of the program we were the first boots on the ground in 25+ years. Given the significant extent of glacial retreat, our focus was on newly exposed rocks and following up on geophysical anomalies.
What we're most excited for is to drill the newly discovered Domino structure. It has everything a good target should. Grade—up to 536 g/t gold!—size, striking over 700m in length, up to 200m wide, and a comparable mineralized deposit—the Scottie Gold Mine—on strike 2 km away.
Peter Epstein: Two of the 2019 grab samples at Summit Lake graded 2,000+ g/t silver (~2/3 ounces/t gold eq.). Might silver be a meaningful part of the Summit Lake story?
Brad Rourke: We're not approaching these projects with a singular focus on commodity or deposit style. Our claims are in geological settings capable of hosting a range of potentially world-class deposits in gold and silver, and in copper and zinc. Examples in the Golden Triangle include VMS (Granduc, Eskay Creek), shear-hosted veins (Scottie Gold Mine), epithermal (Premier, Brucejack), porphyry (KSM), intrusion-related gold (Red Mountain).
Peter Epstein: Last year on the Bow property, Scottie drilled a total of 1,500m and hit 73.3 g/t Au over 4.3m, including 152.5 g/t over 1.9m in the Bend vein, and 7.4 g/t Au over 35m, including 14.3 g/t over 14.0 m in the Blueberry vein. How important is the Bow property to the overall Scottie story?
Brad Rourke: The Bow property is a phenomenal addition to the overall Scottie Gold Mine project, it has exceptional grades at shallow depths and is 100% road accessible. For many junior miners, Bow would be a flagship project. But we've also got the Scottie Gold Mine and the wide open Summit Lake claims. Our 2020 drill program will start with drilling Bow's Blueberry vein.
Peter Epstein: You've done a fair amount of work on the potential to toll mill tailings at the Scottie Gold Mine property. How long might it take to monetize them? When might you start processing the material?
Brad Rourke: We've been studying the on-surface tailings for the past two years. We started by looking at grades anddistribution. We then moved to environmental considerations and how we might position the remediation project to the government.
We see this as a win-win for Scottie Resources, the government, the environment and local communities. Assuming that discussions with the ministry go well, we think that 12–15 months is a reasonable time frame for us to begin generating cash flow.
Peter Epstein: Would you consider farming out some properties to help fund exploration of your favorite opportunities?
Brad Rourke: Peter, are you looking for a way into the Golden Triangle? We welcome the idea of optioning properties in order to advance them at little to no cost while we focus on the Scottie Gold Mine project.
Peter Epstein: No, I'm only looking for ways to invest in the stocks of juniors in the GT that have strong management teams, good properties and projects with high-grade gold discovery potential. Do you know of any?
Peter Epstein is the founder of Epstein Research. His background is in company and financial analysis. He holds an MBA degree in financial analysis from New York University's Stern School of Business.
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