B.C. miners halt exploration program to address community concerns

Following a community outcry, Aben Resources (TSX-V: ABN) and Eagle Plains Resources (TSX-V: EPL) decided to suspend their planned drill program at the Chico Gold Project, which is located 125 kilometres east of La Ronge, Saskatchewan.

The program, which consists of 1,200 to 2,000 metres of drilling in some four or five holes at various locations, had all the required permits and started to be conducted on March 9, 2018. However, according to local media, just a week after the campaign started, technical staff were met at the site by a group of trappers from the N-74 fur block who said they were never consulted about the work.

The group’s reaction prompted a meeting between the parties involved, which was held on March 21. At the audience, Aben and Eagle Plains learned that citizens of the community of Pelican Narrows and members of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation feel they were not properly informed about the exploration activities.

“Following the meeting a decision was made by Aben and Eagle Plains to suspend the program. Aben may revisit plans to explore the property in the future, following meaningful consultation with the community and PBCN members,” a press release issued by both companies reads.

Management suspects that there was a breakdown in communication at some point beyond their control, so the companies are going to look at ways to enhance their consultation policies.

The Chico property has a 1.5-kilometre mineralized structural corridor which has yielded numerous highly anomalous samples ranging up to 4.5 g/t gold.