MTB Shareholder Update April 2022
Mountain Boy’s geological team is busy, as it continues to process historic and last season’s information and make plans for the upcoming field season. The following is a summary of where the company is now as well as an outline of plans for the upcoming field season for MTB’s multiple projects in the Golden Triangle (GT).
Assays are only one of the steps in the process of discovery. The geological team, in collaboration with some leading industry experts, continue to “data mine” the treasure trove of information available on all our projects. Recent and historic samples are being tested with leading edge scientific techniques and the results integrated with data generated by previous exploration campaigns.
This work strengthens the premise that each of MTB’s six projects has large-scale discovery potential and provides further valuable guides to advancing these projects toward discovery.
Golden Triangle and Industry News
The Golden Triangle (GT) is a globally important mining region. Newcrest, Australia’s largest gold producer, has now invested more than $4 billion in the region, with the recent acquisition of Pretium Resources and its Brucejack mine. Brucejack is producing over 300,000 ounces of gold a year. Development is already underway on the expansion at Newcrest’s other GT project, the Red Chris mine. When that project ramps up, Newcrest will produce 600,000 ounces a year from the GT. Several other majors are also investing in the region. Newmont just completed their third acquisition, teaming up with Skeena Resources to acquire Questex Gold and Copper Ltd., with the Questex properties to be split between the two: The major will acquire properties adjacent to Saddle, which it acquired last year in a $450 million takeover of junior explorer GT Gold. Other majors not yet in the Triangle are interested in getting a stake in the region as it rapidly evolves into a major producer of copper and gold.
MTB has teamed up with several other companies exploring in the Golden Triangle to create a website that will provide a collective voice to help investors better understand the potential of this prolific region [https://eyeonthetriangle.ca/]. One of the articles explains why Newcrest is more aggressive in the Golden Triangle than the other majors, with important implications for MTB’s Telegraph project.
Rising metal prices and looming shortages of critical metals has spurred the Canadian government to recognize the importance of discovering and developing new mineral deposits locally in Canada. Canada’s list of critical metals includes copper and zinc, important aspects of MTB’s exploration projects. Measures taken by the government include enhancements to the flow-through program and additional funding for geological research. Both of those initiatives are benefiting Mountain Boy.
Metal prices are up sharply over the past year and the majors are enjoying big gains, but the exploration companies continue to languish. In previous cycles, investor interest trickled down to the juniors after the majors moved, a pattern expected to repeat. Whatever the stage in the cycle, exploration success will be rewarded by investors.
MTB management made a deliberate decision several years ago to focus on the Golden Triangle. That focus has given us leading geological understanding of this highly prospective region. We have assembled one of the largest property positions in the Triangle, encompassing six projects, each of which has potential for a significant discovery. Re-evaluating the historic data in combination with new exploration work and the application of new scientific methods are the strategies Mountain Boy is employing to tap the potential of the company’s projects.
Drilling is a critical step of the discovery process, and MTB’s plans call for drilling on three of the projects this year. However, prior to spending shareholder money on drilling, Mountain Boy is applying the most advanced science available to elucidate the best targets in the upcoming drill campaigns. One can do a lot of science for the cost of one drill hole. To facilitate and coordinate the high-level technical work, MTB has recently formalized a Technical Advisory Board. Their task is to work with the in-house geological team in employing cutting edge science and research in advancing the projects towards discovery. In addition to the advisory board and in-house team, MTB is working with the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC), Geoscience BC and the Mineral Deposit Research Unit at the University of British Columbia (MDRU).
MTB is also presently in the process of leveraging our financial resources through securing joint venture partners and/or spinning out projects to separate companies in return for shares in those companies. Such arrangements would provide funding for the projects as well as additional geological expertise, thereby enhancing our prospects while maintaining a stake in any major discovery.
American Creek / Dorothy Claims (AC/DC)
This project, centered on the historic high-grade Mountain Boy silver mine, has exceptional potential for high-grade silver and gold veins. The project incorporates the wholly-owned American Creek property and the optioned Dorothy Claims which extend the property to the north. The AC/DC package is a geologic analog to the Premier district, located immediately to the west. Premier was one of the most important historic mining camps in British Columbia and is now well on its way back to production.
Last year’s work, confirmed that the mineralized vein replacement horizon, which hosts the historic mine extends for at least 2 kilometres. MTB is now focused on methods in identifying high-grade ore shoots within the horizon to facilitate the next drill program. The high-grade zone that supported the historic mining carries grades measured in kilograms of silver per tonne and extends for tens of metres. Aside from that main trend, the geological team has identified several other targets which produced exceptionally high grades of silver, gold, zinc and copper at surface. We are now applying leading edge geological science to better understand the distribution of metals within this extensive and robust mineralizing system.
This extensive property in the southern part of the Golden Triangle has prospects for a variety of deposit styles. The company’s focus has been primarily on high-grade silver-gold veins discovered in the 1990s. Recent field work has extended the previously identified high-grade mineralization including a sample that assayed 39 kilograms of silver per tonne (1100 oz/t).
The southern Triangle was revitalized with Dolly Varden acquiring the Homestake Ridge deposit to consolidate a significant mineralized trend. They just secured a $13 million financing with which to advance their deposits. The Theia project adjoins the Dolly Varden property and potentially shares a similar mineralizing system, both hosted within the same stratigraphy.
BA / Surprise Creek
The BA property benefits from $10 million worth of work, between 2006 and 2010, with exploration directed toward finding another Eskay Creek, an exceptionally high-grade, past producing, gold-silver deposit in the GT. The earlier work at BA includes 178 drill holes which outlined an extensive zone of silver-lead-zinc mineralization. The recent high zinc price has led MTB to take a fresh look at the drilled zone with the objective of finding sub-sets of the overall deposit with economic potential. Drilling by Mountain Boy last year extended the mineralized zone another 100 metres to the northeast, demonstrating approximately 700 metres of continuity to the system. Reconnaissance field work led to the discovery of the MJ zone which provided silver assays up to almost 6 kilograms per tonne, providing support for the premise that higher grade zones exist within the mineralizing system.
Importantly, almost all the earlier work was focused on the Barbara zone. Other targets have not been adequately evaluated and tested including the George Copper zone, which was tested with limited drilling by Cominco in the 1920s. The target is postulated to occur within the same stratigraphy and possibly part of the same mineralizing system as the Barbara zone.
Mountain Boy has engaged a top volcanogenic hosted massive sulphide expert to provide further input for advancing the project, and is also sponsoring a masters thesis on this project through MDRU. The objective of the work on BA is in part to understand the controls for the higher-grade portions of the deposit and determine vectors that can be applied to defining future drill targets.
The Southmore property is located between Sassy’s Foremore property and Enduro’s Newmont Lake property, both of which are generating new discoveries. Work by the Mountain Boy geologists over two field seasons has confirmed historical results from the 1990’s and has extended existing and discovered addition targets.
Multiple mineralizing styles have been identified on the property. Highly encouraging grades of copper, gold, silver, and zinc have been sampled over several square kilometres, supporting the prospective nature of this property. An airborne geophysical survey last fall provides the first comprehensive look at the property and is being used to tie together the geological information from various parts of the property. Work at the moment is aimed at fine-tuning drill targets for next season.
The consolidation last year of the Telegraph property offers prospects for a true world-class copper-gold porphyry discovery. The 252 square kilometre property involved five separate agreements plus staking. It represents the first time this area has ever been looked at as one big geological system.
The area has seen considerable work, going back to the 1970s. At least 50 companies have looked at various pieces of this extensive property with mineralization occurring in many locations throughout the area.
The most advanced exploration occurred on the Dok Zone, identified in the Late 1960s by a large distinct gossanous area, a rusty zone where outcropping metallic minerals have oxidized. Work from 2004 to 2014 advanced the Dok zone with further rock and soil geochemistry, geologic mapping as well as both ground and airborne geophysics. Two holes were drilled in 2014 with encouraging results, however the junior was not able to raise money to further advance the project.
While one junior company was working on Dok, a different junior company was working on a target to the south referred to as Dok-X. Little work was done on the boundary of the two properties, in spite of clear geological and geophysical evidence of a trend joining the two target areas. MTB geos, after integrating the data sets from the two historic properties, were drawn to an area right on the former property line where they discovered the Nirvana Bowl in 2021, with surface samples as high as 17.95% copper as well as highly encouraging values of gold and silver.
The Dok, Nirvana Bowl and Dok-X zones define a six kilometre mineralizing trend which is similar in scale to the KSM trend incorporating the Kerr, Sulphurets, Mitchell and Iron Cap deposits of Seabridge. KSM hosts a total (measured+indicated+inferred) of 107 million ounces of gold, 46 billion pounds of copper and 600 million ounces of silver. This is not to imply that Mountain Boy has another KSM, but it is encouraging that we have a mineralized trend of the same scale and in the same geological environment.
Interpretation of the 2014 drill results by Mountain Boy geologists, supports the premise that the holes are on the margin of a porphyry system. The geological team is now using short wave near infrared spectral analysis (SWIR) from drill core and surface samples to extract insights into the alteration of the underlying porphyry system to help vector towards the core of the system.
The latest results from across the Telegraph project are being integrated into an enormous database of historic information. The team are presently “data mining” the data set, with collaboration from two leading geoscience research groups, the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) and the Mineral Deposits Research Unit (MDRU). Beyond using the most advanced science available, MTB is working with these research groups to advance the science around porphyry geology.
For this season’s field program, MTB plans to use the existing airstrip and camp site on the northeast end of the property. The program will start with further induced polarization geophysics (IP) along the Dok, Nirvana and Dok-X trend. The previous IP, together with magnetotellurics and mag data from both properties are being integrated and re-interpreted and will be used as a basis for the upcoming IP. Results from the IP, SWIR, soil geochemistry and geology will be used to identify drill targets for the coming season.
News flow over the coming weeks will include geophysical interpretations and results from various scientific studies. Analysts and industry players will appreciate the significance of those results and understand how they help advance the projects toward discovery. MTB intends on securing additional funding through joint ventures and/or spinouts. That news would have a broader appeal, as it would confirm the merits of the projects and enhance the prospects for discovery by accelerating exploration programs.
Trading volume in the last 3 months totals 3.5 million shares. A warm welcome to the many new shareholders and a huge thanks to those who continue to support our exploration efforts in the company. All of us on the Mountain Boy team are deeply committed to the success of the company and are working hard on behalf of shareholders.