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“The BC government has been very proactive for a lot of years in terms of trying to spur exploration [in this region] by conducting sampling and mapping programs,” Fowler says. “They also flew airborne-gravity surveys and magnetic surveys. They made huge inroads in the technology there, and these surveys give you the opportunity to see through the cover of volcanic and glacial sediments. Our properties are all road accessible, which is really huge in this business and all 100% owned. We’ve got some bona-fide exploration targets coming out of this. We’re hopeful that we can end up with some drill targets here at the end of the year.”
Fowler calls the Sickle Sophia and Voigtberg properties BCGold‘s “crown jewels.” The first is in the Toodoggone region and is a 51/49 joint venture with Stealth Minerals TSXV:SML. “It’s historically had about $3 million in exploration into it; previous operators focused more on narrow-grain, high-grade gold mineralization. We see a Kemess-like signature on the property. But we’re not in the position to spend anything there because you need a $500,000 to $750,000 budget to get in there and do anything of significance. When your stock is below 25 cents, it’s difficult.”
Voigtberg, a 50/50 venture with Kaminak Gold TSXV:KAM, borders the giant Galore Creek project, owned jointly by Teck TSX:TCK.B and NovaGold TSX:NG, which has proven and probable reserves of 6.8 billion pounds copper, 5.5 million ounces gold and 120 million ounces silver. Fowler says, “We’ve spent just over a million on it and have a couple of drill programs. It’s actually better situated on the Galore Creek Road than Galore Creek is. We’re just north of the highway and the powergrid goes right by the property as well, so it’s well placed when it comes to the possibility of providing infrastructure for a remote copper-gold open-pit bulk-tonnage target. We got some very encouraging results drilling in 2007 and 2008. But you can’t really go in that country either without at least $500,000 in your pocket. We still like the property a great deal, and it was unfortunate for us when Galore Creek kind of went sideways [NovaGold is divesting its half] because the area is extremely hot.”
The best place to find a mine is near one that’s in production or was in production or going into production. We try to acquire projects that are conceptual or early stage and advance them towards resource development —Brian Fowler
BCGold has 16 Yukon properties near Capstone’s TSX:CS producing Minto copper-gold mine and Copper North’s TSXV:COL Carmacks Copper Project, which is near to full permitting. “We’re the largest land holder in that belt,” Fowler says. “We think it’s underexplored and has a lot more discovery potential than most people realize. Over the years we’ve put $4.5 million in exploration acquisition capital into the belt. We’ve advanced several properties in a methodical fashion. We’re currently negotiating bringing on another partner and optioned one of the properties north of Minto to a junior, Pacific-Link Capital” TSXV:PCL.H.
“Our last project,” Fowler adds, “is the Off-White property on the Klondike Highway. The person we optioned from was the guy who mined over 400 ounces of gold there. What interested us about it is that the gold that’s been produced there is very angular and coarse, highly suggestive of a nearby source.”
Fowler is clearly excited about his company’s properties. “If times were better,” he laments, “I know we’d be doing more drilling. Right now, the market is so lopsided. It seems these days that any volume that is generated basically diffuses an opportunity for people to get out of a deal. It’s not a pleasant place to be right now. There are mixed signals that maybe we’re on our way out, and the market has hit the bottom. But you’ve got so many different opinions out there right now it’s hard to say.” In the meantime, he’s grateful for the gold produced at Engineer, gold that will help keep BCGold going until times do get better.
At press time, BCGold had 98.7 million shares trading at $0.045 for a market cap of $4.4 million.
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