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Aston Bay Holdings Ltd. (TSX-V: BAY; OTCQB: ATBHF): Exploring a New High-Grade, Near-Surface Discovery in the Gold-Rich Region of Virginia, USA; Interview with Thomas Ullrich, CEO

on 6/28/2020
Aston Bay Holdings Ltd. (TSX-V: BAY; OTCQB: ATBHF) is a mineral exploration company, exploring for gold and base metal deposits in Virginia, USA, and Nunavut, Canada. We learned from Thomas Ullrich, CEO and Director of Aston Bay Holdings, that they have a brand new high-grade, near-surface discovery at the Buckingham Gold Project, Virginia, in the best jurisdiction in the world. In the near-term, Aston Bay will focus exclusively on their Virginia project, where they have significant high-grade intercepts, such as 24.7 grams over 3.6 meters. In addition, they will be doing prospecting and exploration sampling around some past-producing mines, on their other property in Virginia.

Thomas Ullrich, CEO and Director of Aston Bay Holdings Ltd.

Aston Bay Holdings Ltd.

Dr. Allen Alper: This is Dr. Allen Alper, Editor-in-Chief of Metals News, interviewing Thomas Ullrich, who is CEO and Director of Aston Bay Holdings. Tom, could you give our readers/investors an overview of your Company and what differentiates your Company from others?

Thomas Ullrich:Aston Bay is an exploration stage company looking for gold in Virginia. That's really what we're after right now. At our Buckingham Gold Property, we have a brand new discovery, a high-grade gold at the surface, in what I think is the best jurisdiction in the world, Virginia, United States. Virginia is a forgotten jurisdiction, but absolutely fantastic for exploration. At Buckingham Gold Property, we are looking to make this small high-grade discovery into something bigger and profitable.

Dr. Allen Alper: That sounds excellent. Could you tell our readers/investors a little bit about your experienced team?

Thomas Ullrich: Sure. We have a very, very small team at Aston Bay and we like it that way. We like to keep it lean and keep costs low. There's myself. I'm the CEO of the Company. Before Aston Bay, I was a geologist and worked for major and junior mining companies, small exploration companies, and universities. Most recently, I was the Chief Geologist for North America, for Antofagasta Minerals, a big Chilean mining company, and before that I was on the drill rig at Almaden Minerals’ Ixtaca deposit discovery.

The only other full-time employee at Aston Bay is Sofia Harquail, who runs the IR and Corp. Dev. for us. We have a part time CFO, but one of our real strengths is our Advisory Board. At the moment, I think the most notable advisor we have is Don Taylor. Don is the former COO and founder of Arizona Mining.

With Arizona Mining, Don took a small Company, made a discovery and the Company was eventually bought out by South32 Minerals for $1.3 billion. Don's a proven mine finder, a very experienced geologist, and he is the source for Aston Bay’s Virginia properties.

Our Virginia Properties were part of Don Taylor’s private company that we merged with last year for Aston Bay shares. Don stayed on as advisor to continue to direct the exploration and we couldn't have a more experienced and respected guy, and a proven mine finder behind us here.

Dr. Allen Alper: Well, it's great to have him on your team. He is so knowledgeable and so accomplished, in addition to your experience and background. You have a small, but very strong team. Could you tell our readers/investors a little bit about your share structure?

Thomas Ullrich: We have about 163 million shares outstanding. Right now, we are trading at about nine and a half cents, ten cents Canadian on TSXV. We also trade on the OTCQB, which is quite tightly held.

About 7% is held by Management and Insiders. I own about 2% of the stock myself. We have some strong institutions at about 16%. We trade a lot of shares per day. Last year our average daily trading volume was over half a million shares per day on the TSX Venture. We currently have about half a million dollars in cash, which is earmarked for our exploration drill program, down in Virginia.

Dr. Allen Alper: It sounds very good. Could you tell our readers/investors a little bit about the Blue Ridge Properties, in Virginia?

Thomas Ullrich: There are two main thrusts of our exploration at the Blue Ridge Properties in Virginia. One is a well-endowed base metals belt, copper, zinc, lead and cobalt. Those are the main metals that we are looking at there and can be viewed as Broken Hill type and VMS hosted types of deposits.

At the moment, the market really isn't that interested in base metal projects, so we’re focusing on the other main thrust of our Virginia properties, the gold potential there.

People have forgotten that Virginia is a historic gold mining district. Before the California Gold Rush, Virginia, along with North and South Carolina, was the preeminent gold mining district in the United States. When the California Gold Rush came along, around the mid-1800’s, exploration shifted westwards. Of course, there was a bit of a mania that developed with the California Gold Rush, and pretty much all the exploration from the East Coast shifted to California and eventually went farther north up into the Klondike and the Yukon.

Since then, people have forgotten about the rich gold mining potential on the East Coast and Virginia, and not much has been done since the late 1800’s. A notable exception is Haile Gold Mine. But just recently, in the last decade or so, the exploration was refocused. Romarco Minerals, for example, shifted the exploration focus from looking at the small high-grade deposits, into re-exploring brownfields properties and what was in the potential mineralized halo, specifically around the original Haile Mine.

Romarco looked at what was a historic small producer and hit it with a modern exploration and mining mindset. It has subsequently been bought by Oceana Gold, and is now an operating mine. It's about five million ounces, a significant amount of gold. That is a good example of the size of the gold mining you can find on the east coast, when you take a new look at some old past producing areas.

Thomas Ullrich: Currently, we are focusing exclusively on gold exploration in Virginia. Buckingham Gold Project, which was discovered just a couple of years ago in 2015. We had one drill program there last year, and we are in the middle of a drill program right now. The current program was interrupted, for a short time, by the COVID restrictions, but we are back drilling exploration holes again. We have high-grade gold at the surface here, and in the drill holes, some very high-grade hits from our drilling last summer. We are talking 24.7 grams over 3.6 meters. These are significant intercepts, for high-grade vein gold.

Also associated with this, are some zones of disseminated mineralization. It's not quite as high-grade, we're talking about two grams per ton, but in the one hole we hit last year, we hit it in two areas, for a total of about 40 meters of two grams per ton, gold. That's a pretty significant amount of gold, overall.

So, we're going to focus on exploration at this new discovery at Buckingham. We are just in the middle of a drill program. Right now, we have 10 drill holes completed. We'll probably drill another six holes, before taking a pause and reviewing our results and planning on how to expand.

In addition to working the Buckingham Gold Project, we also have what we're calling our ‘brownfields exploration projects’ in Virginia. Again, this is very similar to the Romarco Haile Gold Mine style of exploration strategy.

We've picked up some land around some of these past-producing mines, that haven't been touched since the 1850s. We're not miners – we are going to explore the area with our modern exploration techniques, and with a modern view. A lot of that wasn't considered economic in 1850. A good example would be, something like five grams per ton gold, probably didn't get anybody excited at all in 1850, but nowadays that actually can be a significant intercept, if you could get together enough tons of lower-grade disseminated style of mineralization.

While we are drilling at Buckingham, we're going to be doing some prospecting and exploration sampling around some of these past-producing mines, to look-see if we can do the same thing that Romarco did at Haile. The idea is, do that exploration, do the sampling, so we can decide which ones we want to go and drill, to see if we can prove up some more ounces that could make a mine some day in the future.

Dr. Allen Alper: Oh, that sounds excellent! Could you tell our readers/investors, the primary reasons they should consider investing in the Aston Bay?

Thomas Ullrich: Gold is a great commodity to be in, especially in these uncertain times, and we have high-grade gold mineralization at the surface. It's clean, no arsenic or any deleterious constituents. We're in a great jurisdiction, not only the United States, but also Virginia itself. Virginia is a fee-simple jurisdiction, no permitting is required for exploration or drilling on these private lands where we have signed agreements.

We have a large package of land, partnered with timber companies, who are also in the resource business. That means that we have packages of land with lots of room for exploration and like-minded partners. So, we can get the exploration work done, make a discovery and quickly prove up the potential for a mine. We’re explorers, not miners, and our business model is to add value through exploration discovery. We want to add that value in the shortest possible time then crystallize that value by selling the project to a group with the expertise and patience to develop a mine.

Dr. Allen Alper: That's great. Sounds like very good reasons to consider investing in Aston Bay. Is there anything else you'd like to add, Tom?

Thomas Ullrich: We are a microcap company. With these small market caps, you do have that potential for out-sized gains.

Dr. Allen Alper: It sounds like great potential. We’ll publish your press releases as they come out so our readers/investors can follow your progress.

Thomas Ullrich, Chief Executive Officer
(416) 456-3516

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