In a slowly reviving junior exploration market it is all very well to have a plan; but it is the execution which counts. Terrax (V.TXR) is drilling its gold camp in the Northwest Territories in line of sight with two former gold producers. Since last we spoke to CEO Joe Campbell in January of this year, Terrax has put out fourteen hard news press releases. Terrax is executing.
We were not surprised that it took a while to pin Campbell down for an interview. “We’re pedal to the metal.” said Campbell when we caught up with him. “We were very fortunate to have raised in excess of five million dollars for exploration last June, which we are still working through.”
Operating just outside Yellowknife, and accessible by road all year round, Terrax has two primary drilling and exploration seasons: after freeze up when they can run ice roads to drilling sites and then a summer season when the mud of the spring melt has firmed up enough to allow access to the targets. This winter, while it started off mild it ended very cold indeed. Which allowed Terrax to drill off an additional 1000 meters at one of its most promising targets.
“This winter we started a bit slow due to the late freeze but with the cold weather right up to the end of the season we were able to follow up on our initial success. We wanted to touch as many of our targets as we could. Once we have results from all our targets we can prioritize them.” said Campbell.
The range of targets is large. “Everything we’ve done so far is empirical.” said Campbell. “We have surface exposure of gold mineralization to follow up with drilling. There is gold at surface in the form of outcrops and what we are looking for is grade and continuity.”
The results released so far from the Terrax camp have given first looks at a number of target zones. Homer Lake, Sam Otto and Mispickel all returned early, encouraging results. The Mispickel site seems to be a favorite of Campbell’s.
“We drilled under the outcropping mineralization at surface (at Mispickel) which graded 7.30 g/t over 6.0 meters in chip sampling. Initially we drilled 384 meters in four holes. The first hole was drilled 30 meters directly below the outcrop and found 8.6 meters at 12.87 gpt Au. There was a bonus second zone with 11.3 meters at 2.41 gpt Au. We then went underneath and drilled 7.3 meters at 23.6 gpt Au.” said Campbell.
“With results like those you are anxious to go back in. Because of the extended winter season we were able to drill off another 1,000 meters at Mispickel in five holes. We’re expecting the results from those holes soon.”
While many of the Terrax press releases have been drill results, a fair number of them have been about the company’s financing activities.
“We had been planning doing another financing after all the results from the Winter drill program were in but there has been a sea change in the financing market. We had financing offers from good long-term investors on the same terms as our financing in June of last year with Osisko Gold Royalties and other significant institutions, which was at a premium to our market price at the time. It was an opportunity we couldn’t ignore.”
The financing, for $3.2 million in both flow through and hard dollars, ($1,099,200 flow through, $2,112,250 in hard dollars) was closed May 13, 2016.
All of which means that Terrax is in the enviable position of having a full treasury with results expected over the next month and a summer field exploration and drilling program already in the final planning stages. It also doesn’t hurt to have access to Osisko’s talented geologists when deciding which targets to prioritize.
Of course, in light of the very recent $520 million Goldcorp buyout of Yukon gold explorer Kaminak Gold Corporation, it made sense to ask Campbell where he sees Terrax going. “Well, most successful gold exploration companies are bought out.” was as far as Campbell was willing to speculate.
At time of writing Terrax was trading at $.35 with 77,741,026 shares outstanding and a market cap of $27.21 million.