On August 8, 2023 Dolly Varden Silver (TSXV: DV) (OTCQX: DOLLF) released the first batch of drill results from its planned 55,000-meter drill program along the Kitsault Valley Trend in British Columbia’s famed “Golden Triangle”.
The Golden Triangle hosts one of the world’s largest concentrations of minerals,” confirms The Deep Dive with “188 million ounces of gold estimated reserves, with 47.5 million proven and probable; 1.2 billion ounces silver estimated reserves, with 214 million proven and probable.”
With roughly 10% of the total drilling reported, Dolly Varden has established that its Kitsol Vein is wider, longer and closer to the surface than previously known. This will typically improve the economics of a mine – making it quicker-to-cash-flow.
Highlights from the Kitsol Vein in the Torbrit Deposit area include:
- DV23-334: 297 g/t Ag over 8.32 meters including 1,090 g/t Ag over 0.90 meters at Kitsol
- DV23-336: 342 g/t Ag over 18.00 meters including 2,270 g/t Ag over 0.50 meters and 995 g/t Ag with 3.6% Pb over 0.60 meters at Kitsol
- DV23-337: 496 g/t Ag over 9.57 meters including 1,100 g/t Ag over 0.73 meters at Kitsol
- DV23-348: 334 g/t Ag over 3.50 meters including 672 g/t Ag over 1.34 meters at Torbrit Main, south extension
“Intervals are core length,” states Dolly Varden, “True widths vary from 64 to 87% of core length interval, assays are uncut.”
“As the flow of results from our fully funded 2023 exploration drill program have started, we continue to see successful resource expansion drilling at the Kitsol Vein, intersecting high grade silver mineralization over wide intervals, that is potentially amenable to bulk underground mining methods,” stated Shawn Khunkhun, President and CEO of Dolly Varden Silver.
“The Kitsault Valley asset is a volcanogenic, strata-bound system with 1,000 gram per tonne veins,” Khunkhun told Guy Bennett, CEO of Global Stocks News (GSN). “But the system is also disseminated with 200 gram/tonne silver. Bulk mining would enable us to boost the average grade and the tonnage per day, improving mine economics.”
“With bulk tonnage underground mining, instead of doing a blast where you pull out 25 tonnes of rock, you’re pulling out 10,000 tons of rock per blast,” Dolly Varden VP of Explorations Robert Van Egmond told GSN. “When the Torbert Mine was in production in the 1950s, they had stopes that were 20 meters wide, 30 meters high. You’re peeling off large amounts of rock, you don’t need a lot of equipment and people moving around.”
From the four highlighted holes in the August 8th press release, the deepest intersect is 131.9 meters below surface.
To put this in context, Pan American Silver’s May, 2023 drill results from its La Colorada Skarn project in Zacatecas, Mexico, included a highlighted hole of “64 metres at 391 grams/tonne silver” 1.2 kilometers below surface.
“Due to drilling success and efficiencies, a fifth drill has been mobilized to site and the 2023 program has been expanded by approximately 10,000 meters to 55,000 meters of drilling,” states DV. “Over 70 drill holes have been completed to-date this season”.
Weak ESG initiatives can kill resource projects. Conversely, strong local partnerships combined with robust environmental protections are significant de-riskers for investors.
Five years ago, DV was part of group focussed on deepening the relationships with The Golden Triangle’s First Nations including the Nisga’a Lisims Government (NLG)
“Government, along with First Nations and several exploration companies [including DV Silver] from B.C.’s northwest region, has created the B.C. Regional Mining Alliance (BCRMA) to promote British Columbia’s mining opportunities internationally,” reported the Nisga’a Nation.
“British Columbia’s Golden Triangle is poised for a mining boom that raises the bar when it comes to achieving the higher environmental, social, and guidance expectations for companies that produce the gold, silver, copper, and other metals the world needs and wants,” confirms Mining News North.
“Through our partnership, we are creating a circle of certainty in the Golden Triangle that will attract investors to work with us in our territories,” stated Nisga’a Lisims Government President Eva Clayton.
“We have a very good relationship with the Nisga’a,” confirms Khunkhun. “They often travel with me to conferences. They are looking to maximize employment opportunities also grow their wealth. We have the same objective for the Nisga’a.”
“We are also launching a business with them,” continued Khunkhun, “Our goal is to make it one of the largest indigenous- owned business in the country. The Nisga’a are sophisticated and pro business.”
“We have 15 Nisga’a staff working at site now,” reports Van Egmond. “They are doing camp maintenance, building drill pads, falling trees, logging core and we’re starting to get Nisga’a people working on the environmental side. We are fortunate to have long-time employees, they are a massive asset to our operations.”
On August 8, 2023, Maurice Jackson, Founder and CEO of Proven & Probable conducted a wide-ranging interview with Mr. Khunkhun. Mr. Jackson “educates and speculates” in the Natural Resource Space; he is also a long-term shareholder in DV Silver.
“Dolly Varden is giving investors leverage to rising silver and gold prices,” Khunkhun told Jackson, “At a time where silver and gold may be either declining or flat in price, we have successfully grown our mineral inventory, giving precious metals investors exposure to a large high-grade silver and gold deposit in a very safe location.”
“We had about a $20 million drill budget, which funded 45,000 meters,” continued Khunkhun. “Because of efficiencies, we’re able to allocate an extra 10,000 meters of drilling, increasing the program to 55,000 meters. We’re bringing in a fifth drill rig to accomplish that goal, at no extra cost to our shareholders”.
In 2017, the $2.8 billion Hecla Mining Company made a formal takeover bid for Dolly Varden Silver at C$0.69 cash per share (a 97% premium to market at the time). This offer was rejected. Hecla currently owns 10% of DV and is one of many potential buy-out suitors, as DV’s metal inventory grows.
Dolly Varden’s 163 square kilometer project hosts the high-grade silver and gold resources of Dolly Varden and Homestake Ridge along with the past producing Dolly Varden and Torbrit silver mines. The company’s land package is 40X larger than Vancouver’s Stanley Park.
“The August 8th drill results are less than 10% of the drill program,” Khunkhun told GSN. “We will continue to drill. I anticipate putting out result-oriented news, once or twice a month throughout September, October, November, December and into the New Year.”