Ximen Mining (CVE:XIM) is sitting on a potentially large epithermal gold district in southern British Columbia and this year should see the group make further headway de-risking the project with more drilling and exploration planned.
The Brett gold property, which the company bought for $1.6 million in 2013, is a potential multi-million ounce system, which has multiple high grade targets.
Ximen late in 2018 re-opened the portal (which had been closed for public safety), which allows underground access into the property.
The state of the underground workings, already present, are now being assessed and any work needed to prepare for drilling will be carried out by the company.
Gearing up for more drilling
It is in the process of getting permits to rehabilitate workings and for underground exploration drilling in the spring of 2019.
The Brett property already has an extensive history of exploration.
Previous work from the early 1980s through to 2004 included over 15,000 meters of diamond drilling and 459 meters of underground development
In total, 157 holes for almost 23,000 meters have been sunk there since 1986.
In 1995, a 291 tonne bulk sample was shipped to a smelter for processing and showed positive results.
Values recovered by the smelter averaged 27.74 g/t (grams per ton) gold and 63.7 g/t silver. Low sulfide mineralization, visible metallurgy and 95% gold recovery.
In 2015, Steve Craig, one of Ximen's technical advisors, who was familiar with the site, said: "In 1983 I saw the first samples that came from Brett and knew then that it could be a major exploration play."
"The property has many of the epithermal characteristics that are found in a number of Nevada's volcanic-hosted gold districts where I have spent most of my career," he said.
Ximen started drilling towards the latter part of 2014, and delivered 13 holes over a combined 3,000 meters of drilling.
The results duly came in and showed extensive mineralization. Among the highlights were 7.2 meters grading 2.85 grams per tonne gold and 7.73 grams silver, 0.9 meters at 34.18 grams gold and 6.66 grams silver, and 31 meters at 1.77 grams gold and 2.13 grams silver.
A strong start
It was a strong start, as Ximen CEO Christopher Anderson made clear at the time. "The 2014 programme returned excellent results from this newly emerging gold district," he said.
"Our drilling demonstrated that the property contains a very large and strong epithermal system that has district-scale potential for both high-grade veins and low-grade bulk tonnage gold mineralization."
In 2016, Ximen drilled 16 holes on specific targets from geological interpretation conducted on cross-sections.
One hole intercepted an interval with 18.95 g/t gold over 1 meter, while another hit an interval with 3.13 grams per tonne gold over 1.1 meters.
In December last year, Ximen said it had arranged a non-brokered private placing of 1 million units at $0.25 each to raise $250,000 gross.
The Vancouver-based firm also closed a private placement of 1.8 million flow-through shares at a price of $0.30 per share for gross proceeds of $540,000.
Anderson and director Wesley Warthe-Anderson took part in the offering by subscribing for a total of 350,000 shares.
The net proceeds will be used for exploration on its British Columbia properties, the company said.
This spring's drilling is aimed at intercepting previous mineralization and attaining an idea of grade and tonnage in each of four zones - M1, M2, M3 and M4.
Around 250m of drifting and cross-cutting is planned with a further extension of the main drift 100m to the north.
Looking ahead to any potential gold production from Brett, it is worth noting that several mills are in the area, which can be used for processing.
In all, Ximen has three projects, including Brett. The other two are optioned out to other firms. These are the Gold Drop property and the Treasure Mountain Silver property, also in British Columbia. At the latter, Ximen has just received work permits for diamond drilling, trenching and test pitting.
Its option partner is New Destiny Mining Corp (CVE:NED), which is making annual staged cash and stocks payments as well as funding the development of the site.
Christopher Anderson, president and CEO, has over 30 years' entrepreneurial experience and has been behind tens of millions of dollars of financing for both public and private companies. He has been focused on mining for the last decade.
Director Roy Davis has a degree in mining engineering from Imperial College London, and was an associate at the Royal School of Mines.
He has held senior positions in both private and public mining companies, including practical experience in exploration and production with, among others, The National Coal Board(UK), NJ Zinc Company, Noranda, INCO and Goldquest
Ximen's flagship property is Brett but it is worth noting that it also owns the Treasure Mountain Silver project, which is adjacent to the past-producing Huldra Silver Mine. Both Gold Drop and Treasure Mountain are under option agreements.
Amid global uncertainty and volatility in global trade, safe haven asset gold has been doing well. The outlook for the yellow metal remains pretty compelling as some if these issues don't look to be going away any time soon.
Although clearly Ximen is a long way from any gold production, it means the team is exploring at a time the sector is well supported in a stable jurisdiction, which is well known for its mining industry.
So, in summary, Ximen has a very interesting project, which has already seen substantial work. It lies in a good jurisdiction and could well be a company to watch in 2019.