Troubadour Resources (TSXV: TR; US-OTC: TROUF) is midway through a due diligence program on its 13 sq. km Privateer gold property near the town of Zeballos, on Vancouver Island’s northwest coast.
In March 2019, the company signed a letter of intent to acquire the property, and says its initial review indicates the potential to expand known veins around past-producing mines on the property.
“What’s really key about this is the fact that it’s the whole Zeballos gold camp,” Troubadour president Geoff Schellenberg says in an interview with The Northern Miner. “It’s a historic past-producing gold camp, and this is the first time there has been consolidated ownership.”
Over 90% of the past production on the property occurred in the six years before World War 2. When the war ended, miners returned to a low gold price and never reopened the mines.
“It basically sat dormant due to the fractional ownership until a private group, a couple of years ago, started acquiring and consolidating the camp,” Schellenberg says.
Though the property had operators in the late 1980s and early 2000s, the private company performed the first serious exploration on the property since the 1930s.
Over the past two years, that company drilled 12,000 metres at the property, and actually hit a brand-new vein with its first hole, discovering the 88 Vein and tracing it across a 130-metre strike length. The vein is highlighted by 1,387 grams gold per tonne over 0.3 metre from 85 metres downhole.
The vein is open along strike to the northeast, southwest and at depth. Troubadour says the vein is likely an extension of the vein system at the past-producing Privateer mine.
“Now that the land package is consolidated, you can really see the exploration potential,” Schellenberg says. “Before a lot of operators on it would be hesitant on exploring too close to their property boundaries because they didn’t want the guy next door to know what they had.”
The company says a 275-metre strike distance between the 88 Vein and the Privateer mine’s No. 2 vein is a high-priority drill target.
The property also hosts the past-producing Prident mine and White Star mine. Drilling in 2018 near Prident cut 5.81 grams gold over 7 metres from 51 metres downhole, stepping out 50 metres northeast from the mine’s known mineralization extent.
Near White Star, 2018 drilling cut 24.2 grams gold over 1 metre from 61 metres downhole, stepping out 80 metres southwest of known mineralization.
“There are a lot of similarities between the mines in the area,” Schellenberg says. “All the veins trend the same direction, and they’re all in relatively close proximity to each other, as well, so there’s a lot of room for expansion — perhaps tying these historic mines together — because the systems don’t just stop. There’s probably some continuity in the system.”
Historic production at the Zeballos camp until 1982 totalled 334,000 tonnes of milled ore for 304,309 oz. gold. The Privateer property covers 99% of this production. The Privateer mine produced 170,440 oz. gold, and, along with the Prident mine, hosts a historic 122,500 measured tonnes at 9.26 grams gold for 36,461 oz. gold and 324,800 indicated tonnes grading 15.09 for 157,565 oz. gold.
“If we can potentially put in some confirmatory drill holes and prove that up to a National Instrument 43-101 compliant resource, that’s a very good start as a springboard for this property,” Schellenberg says. “These are shallow vein structures, and that’s going to be the key for economics.”
If Troubadour acquires Privateer, it will start exploring the property this year. It will likely begin with a regional geological mapping program, which has never been done on the property.
Troubadour went public in June 2018 with the Amarillo copper property in southern B.C., 10 km south of the past-producing Brenda copper-molybdenum mine.
“What led us to that property was a historic trench done in the 1960s that graded 0.87% copper over 125 metres, and that was subsequently mis-plotted,” Schellenberg says.
The trench was plotted 2 km north of its actual location. As a result, the property saw very little exploration in the next years. Instead, the ground to the north got the most attention.
“One of the guys at our office during slower times went back to the old reports and realized that where it was plotted didn’t make sense,” Schellenberg says.
The company then developed drill targets by performing a geochemical and geophysical program on the property. It drilled Amarillo’s first-ever hole at the end of 2018. In total, it drilled 1,300 metres at the property across four holes, finding what Schellenberg calls “encouraging” alteration. He says the company feels it’s right on the edge of the porphyry system. Assays from the program are still pending.
The company will continue exploring Amarillo in the next few months, drilling between 1,500 and 2,000 metres.
“We’re trying to vector in on the richest mineralization in this porphyry system,” Schellenberg says. “The fact that we hit some alteration in those first few drill holes is key, because that definitely puts us ahead of the game. We know which way to go and have a great idea of where to drill next.”
Troubadour shares are trading at 12¢ in a 52-week range of 8¢ to 25¢. The company has a $2-million market capitalization.