Talisker Resources (CNSX: TSK; US-OTC: TSKFF) only listed on the Canadian Stock Exchange last April, but the junior holds more than 70% of the up-and-coming Spences Bridge belt in southwestern British Columbia.
Talisker is a spinout of South America-focused explorer Sable Resources, which staked the Spences Bridge belt claims in B.C. in just one day in September 2018.
Matt Filgate, a senior geologist with the company, staked 122 claim blocks online with the help of another Sable geologist in September. Each claim block takes 10 minutes to outline on B.C.’s “Mineral Titles Online” website, then acquire, Filgate says — a task they had to repeat 122 times.
“We ended up doing it at night just because there are quite a few prospectors that will watch live staking online and will try and jump on and stake in the middle of it,” Filgate says. “We did it at 11 p.m., so there were fewer people watching. We finished at four in the morning.”
The largest staking endeavour ever in B.C., by the end of the process, Sable had staked most of the volcanic belt. Now the 2,260 sq. km land package is being advanced by Talisker, which shares much of the same management and directors as Sable.
The Spences Bridge belt hosts Westhaven Ventures’ Shovelnose discovery — a project that has returned impressive drill results including 18 metres of 24.5 grams gold per tonne and 107.92 grams silver per tonne and 47 metres of 8.95 grams gold per tonne and 65.47 grams silver per tonne. The belt has not been systematically explored until now.
In mid-2019, Talisker conducted a large stream-sediment sampling program across its 2,260 sq. km Spences Bridge land package. Over four months, the company collected 80% of 4,000 samples planned with a team of 22 geologists.
Talisker’s land package looks like a sliver, running 300 km northwest to southeast, and is widest in the middle at around 100 km, thinning at either end. Traversing the large area was possible because the property, in south-central B.C., is accessible by road and only a few hours’ drive from Vancouver.
So far, 100 anomalies have been identified from the data, including 22 basins that sampled above 32 ppb gold (the Shovelnose discovery was based on a sample that returned 68 ppb gold).
A soil-sampling program early in the year will be followed up by an initial drill program before the fourth quarter. The company is targeting low-sulphidation epithermal systems, such as Shovelnose.
While juniors have been active on smaller parcels of land in the belt, Talisker, informed by its founders’ experiences with large-scale systematic greenfields exploration programs at AngloGold Ashanti, is taking a big-picture view. Talisker president and CEO Terry Harbort and vice-president of exploration Ruben Padilla know that systematic exploration works because both have been part of discoveries made with such an approach — such as La Colosa and Gramalote — while working for the major.
“All we’re doing is exporting major company techniques to a junior,” says Filgate, who spent three years working at Barkerville Gold’s gold project (now owned by Osisko Gold Royalties) in B.C.’s Golden Triangle, where Harbort was also chief geoscientist.
In addition to technical chops and a rigorous exploration approach, Talisker has been proactive in engaging with First Nations from the very beginning. “Community support is a big thing for us,” Filgate says. “We want to take a different approach to junior exploration.”
In addition to a $3.5-million exploration program at Spences Bridge, it’s also planning a work program at its recently acquired and advanced high-grade Bralone project.
While the company’s strategy is focused on acquiring dominant land positions in early-stage gold belts, the opportunity to acquire the past producer came up unexpectedly last year.
“We hadn’t planned on acquiring an advanced project — Avino Silver & Gold Mines (TSX: ASM; NYSE-AM: ASM) approached us,” Filgate says. The company was pleased with what it found during due diligence.
“The upside potential there is very encouraging.”
The Bralorne acquisition was completed in December for an upfront $8.7-million cash payment, plus 12.6 million Talisker shares and 6.3 million warrants. Another US$2.5 million is payable on commercial production.
The project, 248 km northeast of Vancouver, hosts global gold resources totalling 170,000 ounces.
— This article first appeared in The Northern Miner’s sister publication Canadian Mining Journal.