PROACTIVE INVESTORS: Welcome Mark.
2016 has seen Vital Metals reposition itself as a gold and zinc explorer. Can you outline the how these changes to the Company’s strategy came about?
Mark Strizek: In 2016 Vital Metals reached the significant achievement of bringing our 100% owned Watershed Tungsten Project in Queensland to shovel ready status.
Like many developers though we were hit by the falling commodity price and this meant we had to react quickly or just go stale.
The board therefore took the decision to turn the company’s attention to exploring the proven highly prospective gold and zinc prospects that lie within Vital’s 100% owned assets in Burkina Faso and Queensland.
The strategy was then set to run concurrent drill programs across both continents in order to then assess progress into 2017.
This strategy has already been justified with the receipt of very positive results from the early stage drill programs.
The drill campaigns have only covered a fraction of our assets but putting our intercepts together with historic data has left us very confident there are some very significant prospects that intensive drill campaigns could identify rapidly in 2017.
Can you please provide some detail on each these assets and the work that has been achieved to date?
Mark Strizek: In Burkina Faso our Kollo Gold Project is located in a premier gold province, near MNG Gold’s Younga gold mine and along strike from West African Resources, who recently announced some very high grade intercepts.
From our recent drilling some of the key intercepts at Kollo include: 3 metres at56 g/t gold from 134 metres, including 1 metre at 167g/t gold, 3.5 metres at 9.11g/t gold and 3 metres at 7.42g/t gold.
These results confirm Kollo has the potential to become a significant gold project with high grades and extensive exploration upside.
Gold mineralisation remains open both at depth and along strike and there are we expect to receive further assays now that the wet season has ended from the recently started drill program.
Our Burkina tenements also hold a number of highly prospective zinc VMS style prospects and Vital believes there is significant potential to discover a large zinc deposit with prospects untested and drilled zones not closed off.
The most advanced zinc prospect is Nabenia that is ready for immediate follow-up of significant intercepts which includes a 150 x 800 metre multi-element soil geochemical anomaly and drilling included:
- 19.1 metres at 2.7% zinc from 44 metres;
- 10 metres at 2.7% zinc from 30 metres; and
- 7 metres at 2.1% zinc from 59 metres, including 2 metres at 6.5% zinc.
Further zinc prospects include a zinc in soil anomaly up to 7 kilometres long and 1.5 kilometres wide at Loubel, as well as at Koubongo where the zinc in soil anomaly has been traced over 9 kilometres and AVV where the zinc in soil anomaly is 750 metres long.
In Queensland we recently announced the results from our maiden drill program and these exceeded our expectations.
12 reverse circulation holes were drilled at the Ivory vein at Elephant Creek which included: 4 metres at 26.39g/t gold from 17 metres; 10 metres at 3.05g/t gold from 32 metres; and 6 metres at 4.62g/t gold from 42 metres.
It is over 20 years since there had been any drilling for gold on this tenement and these results far outperformed data from that time.
We believe the Elephant Creek gold project carries significant exploration upside as Ivory is only one of the eleven known gold-bearing vein systems that have been identified.
These results and the fact we have only scratched the surface in Queensland mean the area is shaping to be an important second front for Vital’s gold exploration activities.
With so many prospects across two continents what would be Vital’s preferred exploration strategy to take advantage of these?
Mark Strizek: Vital’s gold exploration in Burkina Faso has to date been has been capital constrained and our exploration model has been simple – follow artisanal mining and look for gold in soil anomalies.
Our regional exploration model has recently been updated and reworked and has identified significant exploration potential within the tenement package.
We believe that we have only tested around 15% of gold mineralised structures on our tenements.
Systematic exploration will provide the opportunity for significant additional discoveries within the project area and enable the definition of targets that are already present in the regional geochemical dataset.
In Queensland we are in the process of completing the maiden drill campaign and results have led us to determine to carry out further drilling in 2017.
At Elephant Creek there are numerous veins on the license that historical data has identified as being gold mineralised.
The most efficient way to maximise the value of such numerous prospective holdings is to execute a drill campaign that could therefore identify a high number of targets in a short period of time.
With both projects being wholly-owned, have you received interests from potential joint venture partners, and would you consider approaches for farm-in?
Mark Strizek: It is still early days but we think our exploration ground has the potential to host an elephant.
That is what we are looking for, a large multi-million ounce deposit.
The benefits of carrying out a wide drill campaign are the early identification of numerous targets, which in turn attract the interest of potential farm-in partners and we would certainly be happy to have those discussion at the right time.
Finally, why should an investor consider adding Vital Metals to their portfolio?
Mark Strizek: Vital Metals has achieved a lot in a short period of time after successfully implementing a strategy to focus on different commodities on our 100% owned assets and the board feels the company is already well placed to leverage off these.
A good list of highly prospective gold and zinc resources have already been identified and there remain a wide number of potential highly prospective targets to be drilled.
With the high quality historical data we are confident that concerted drill campaigns would continue to throw up positive results and thereby grow the value of the company within a short period of time.
Vital has so far only touched upon a small percentage of the opportunities that lie across our 100% owned assets and we are very excited about their potential in 2017.
PROACTIVE INVESTORS: Thank-you Mark.