The Promise of Grizzly’s Greenwood Gold Project Excites Investors
By Ted Niles
It’s not often that you can say of a man that he knew his future before he knew his name. Brian Testo, President and CEO of Grizzly Discoveries Inc, earned the moniker “Griz” at 14 for his tenacity, but it was at the age of nine that he saw his future in mining. “I was in Grade 4,” Testo relates, “and we were talking about the economies of different countries, and our teacher said something about diamonds in South Africa. There were coal mines throughout Hinton, Alberta, where I grew up, so I asked him if there was any chance of diamonds in Alberta. He said no, no chance; they’re only in South Africa. But I didn’t believe him. So I pursued that.”
Indeed he did. In 2005 Grizzly Diamonds—as the company was then known—acquired three diamond properties in Alberta’s Buffalo Head Hills, approximately 1.6 million hectares. The company also had four BC precious-metals properties—Peak, French, Goat Mine and Silver Bear—over 9,300 hectares.
One could say that such an intense interest in gemstones might not have been the best course given what was looming on the horizon. “It got to the point where in 2008, when the little meltdown came, nobody wanted to talk about diamonds,” Testo reports. He adds, “But that year we got Greenwood, our flagship gold property.”
Greenwood now totals 88,140 hectares. Situated between Grand Forks and Midway, it is easily accessible by road. Around 1900, the area was the largest gold producer in the country, and the Greenwood property is near notable producers—particularly the Motherlode mines that yielded 178,000 ounces gold, 723,000 ounces silver and 80 million pounds copper. And Greenwood is seven kilometres northwest of Kinross Gold’s Buckhorn Mountain Gold Mine in Washington State.
Testo says of the property, “We took an old gold camp which was very underexplored, and we flew some new mags on it about a year and a half ago. When we got the data back, there were 500 conductors. So we’ve been drilling some of those, as well as some old drill targets. So far, we still have 400 conductors we haven’t chased down. There are six distinct areas in Greenwood, and we have shown in the first three that there’s a huge low-grade system there.”
Grizzly has completed three drill campaigns at Greenwood, and it does not yet have an NI 43-101 resource estimate. Assays of September 13, 2010, included 0.75 grams per tonne gold over 42 metres (including 1 g/t over 30 metres). The most recent assays, released February 7, include 0.21 g/t gold over 111.5 metres (including 1.19 g/t over 10.4 metres). Testo comments, “We’ve got this huge intersection, and we’ll hit high grade between that. We’ve just got to find the high grade. I tell people that we’re one hole away from a major discovery. On our next drill hole we could hit the heart of the system, or it might take 10 or 20. We’ve got enough smoke there to know there’s a fire.”
We’ve got enough smoke there to know there’s a fire — Brian “Griz” Testo
The market has of late shared Testo’s confidence. Following its February 7 press release, Grizzly’s share price shot up from $0.30 to, at press time, $0.52. The company has $1.2 million on hand, enough “to do a small program in May or June,” but he hopes to raise an additional $3 million to $5 million this spring for “a proper two-year drilling program. That’s my goal for Greenwood, and I think we can attain that.” Towards that end Testo reports that Grizzly Discoveries has applied for a listing on the OTCQX.
Of Grizzly’s other precious metals properties in BC, the Peak Property is the most promising, hosting rock that is stratigraphically similar to Barrick Gold’s Eskay Creek Mine. Testo remarks, “If I could raise more money, I’d work on it. But it’s a higher risk property than Greenwood.” The company has also taken a considerable interest in Alberta potash. Anyone familiar with the names of BHP Billiton and Potash Corp knows this is an increasingly profitable commodity. Grizzly has staked roughly 950,000 hectares near Lloydminster and Medicine Hat on the border and hopes to bring some of Saskatchewan’s potash success to Alberta.
“Griz” has not forsaken his diamonds, but Greenwood remains his priority. He concludes, “I’ve never had a brokered placement. I’ve always done friends and family. We have a huge vested interest in making this thing work. And we only have 34 million shares. Fully diluted, we’d be at about 38 million to 40 million and have another $3 million to $4 million in the bank. I’d raised most of the money before the crash north of a dollar. I’ve done a couple of small placements since then to keep rocking and rolling, but I’m going to do a bigger placement at a higher price, and things are going to happen.”