Don Huston is sitting in the catbird seat.
The colourful president of Bayfield Ventures knows he has a strategic bit of ground in the Rainy River District of northwestern Ontario, and he's opening the door to be taken over.
Bayfield has three gold properties in Richardson Township, northwest of Fort Frances.
Its flagship project is the high-grade Burns Block which borders its neighbour, Rainy River Resources.
In April, Bayfield reported the results of its latest drill program including one hole that yielded 11 metres of 12.19 grams per tonne of gold and 30.5 grams per tonne of silver on the Burns property.
“As good as I've ever seen for numbers,” said Huston, a Red Lake native and exploration veteran of more than 25 years. “I'm very fortunate to be a part of a particular project like this for a small junior explorationist.”
The greater benefit to Bayfield is being located exceedingly close to Rainy River Resources' multi-million ounce gold deposit.
Bayfield's 80-acre Burns Block, east of the Rainy River's Intrepid gold zone, has the two companies pounding away with multiple drills within 100 feet of each other at their properties' boundary line.
“You can almost spit to hit their rig,” said Huston. “They have three rigs and I'm standing on a little knob looking at the driller for Rainy River and he's smiling back at me. It's pretty bizarre, actually.”
Huston believes the Burns is an extension of the same high-grade trend of Rainy River's Intrepid Zone, “no ifs, ands or buts.”
But he's more certain of the inevitability that Rainy River will acquire the Burns.
Near Bayfield's property line, Rainy River plans to dig an exploration ramp to further define this zone.
“Obviously they can't put it into my zone because they don't own it,” said Huston. “What would that suggest to you? They're going to own me or they should.”
Years before, Bayfield had optioned the Burns Block property to Rainy River.
When the 2008 fiscal crisis hit, Rainy River terminated the agreement and the property reverted back to Bayfield, which began systematically drilling holes in a pure exploration play that's still going strong.
“We kept it and started drilling it ourselves, we had money in the till, and I'll be damned if we didn't hit fantastic intersections.”
Huston chalks up their success to following good exploration fundamentals, and a bit of luck.
The company also has its 480-acre B Claim block and its 1,976-acre C Claim block located due east and west, respectively, of Rainy River's 433 and ODM 17 gold zones.
“We got very fortunate in doing our homework on land that was available,” said Huston.
With $1.5 million in the treasury, Bayfield's plans for this summer are to continue drilling with its 100,000-metre drill program designed to largely test the strike extension of Rainy River's gold zone onto the Burns.
On its B Block, Bayfield finished up a major exploration program last winter and is busy putting its data together. “It looks like there's serious potential for a low-grade zone and it needs more work to be delineated,” said Huston.
While he categorizes the junior mining financing environment as “terrible,” despite Bayfield trading for $0.17 on the TSX, Huston is not buying into a woe-is-me attitude.
“We manage to keep ourselves funded, we always have money in the till and we're always working. We're huge believers in putting it into the ground. We try to stay aggressive and we work our properties. If you don't drill, you can't win.”