Sound bites: Spences Bridge Gold Belt is back on the map

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Today marks the return of our Sound Bites feature where we will be highlighting distinct commentary and opinions from Howe Street radio and possibly some other sources. To kick things off, we look at recent exploration activity in the Spences Bridge Gold Belt which John Kaiser of Kaiser Research reviewed in his November 1st Discovery Watch.

Click to listen to the interview

Westhaven Ventures (Sunny; WHN) stock soared after it announced on October 17th that it had drilled 17.77 metres of 24.50 g/t gold at its Shovelnose project located in the Spences Bridge Gold Belt of south central British Columbia. That followed an earlier promising hole that was reported on October 2nd. According to Kaiser:

That October 2nd hole was the first indication that we had that something significant was happening in the Shovelnose property...It gave us a short interval of very high-grade gold and silver, then the next hole which was about 260 metres to the south east (#14) all of a sudden we had 18 metres of 25 gram gold and 108 gram silver. So this was a substantial widening of this vein system.

The news continued when on Halloween the company reported hole number 15 which contained 46.20 metres of 8.95 g/t gold and 65.47 g/t silver. Kaiser explained:

Hole #15 drilled 100 metres to the south east, that's 46 metres of 9 grams per tonne gold and 65 grams per tonne silver and there are some higher intervals within that. Now, they don't really understand the geometry of this system yet, but it is the widening of the vein system and the high grades within it that is capturing the market's imagination. 

The Spences Bridge Gold Belt has been explored before. The First BC gold rush of 1850 occurred near the Shovelnose site. Placer gold deposits discovered in the Fraser and Thomson Rivers not far away were harvested before the Second Gold Rush to Barkerville and Third Gold Rush to the Klondike took place in the 1890's.

Click for larger image

The October 2nd Westhaven results may have caught the attention of Sable Resources (Mostly Sunny; SAE) management. On October 16th Sable Resources announced it had map staked (according to Kaiser) 70% of the Spence's Bridge Gold Belt area (190,000 hectares) and formed a strategic alliance with Westhaven. The arrangement brings together Sable and Westhaven’s technical expertise and combined control of 86% of the Gold Belt (about 225,000 hectares). Any ground staked by Sable within 5 kilometres of Westhaven's existing projects will be subject to a 2.5% NSR along with certain rights of first refusals by Westhaven.

Spences Bridge Gold Belt area staked by Sable Resources (source Sable Res. and Globe Newswire)

The leadership of Sable Resources and Westhaven Ventures are no strangers to mining. Sable Resources CEO Tom Obradovich was one of the key players in Aurelian Resources, which discovered the Fruto del Norte gold deposit in Ecuador. His experience with the Furto del Norte deposit may be a factor driving the company's interest in Spences Bridge. Kaiser suggests that Sable believes Spences Bridge has been mistakenly ignored:

...Where you are looking for giants, such as Fruto del Norte which is now under development by Lundin Gold, it has been woefully underexplored

Westhaven Ventures Chairman David Grenville (Gren) Thomas is a prolific mining industry veteran. Among other milestones, he founded Aber Resources Ltd. (Dominion Diamond) and, according to Bloomberg, he was named Prospector of the Year in 1999, "Man of the Year" by The Northern Miner in 2001 and inducted into The Canadian Mining Hall of Fame in 2009.

Of course it remains to be seen if all the excitement will pay off for investors. At least the news flow for Spences Bridge will not be drying up all winter as is the case in most Canadian gold plays.The Shovelnose site should be accessible most of the year, unlike other mining areas where severe winter conditions may reduce the exploration season. Shovelnose is also located next to a major highway, just south of Merritt, BC.

You can find Discovery Watch Broadcasts each week on the Broadcast page of or by visiting Disclosure: one or more INK staff members hold positions in Westhaven Ventures and Sable Resources.

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