Mining News: Advanced stage exploration projects
Coeur díAlene Mines Corp.ís Kensington gold mine project, located about 45 miles northwest of Juneau, is expecting a Supreme Court ruling on its tailings permits in early 2009. If the court upholds the permits, Coeur hopes to complete its tailings facilities and begin gold production by the end of next year. Once in production the mine will employ about 200 people, and produce about 140,000 ounces of gold per year. Proven and probable reserves measure about 1.4 million ounces of gold, and an additional 623,000 ounces indicated and 243,000 ounces inferred gold resource.
Donlin Creek LLC, a 50/50 partnership between NovaGold Resources Inc. and Barrick Gold Corp., manages the Donlin Creek Project in Southwest Alaska. NovaGold reported a resource estimate of 31.7 million ounces of measured and indicated resources grading about 2.5 grams gold per metric ton. More than 32,000 meters has been drilled at Donlin in 2008. The preferred project design includes a 50,000-metric-ton-per-day plant that would produce more than 1 million ounces per year. A feasibility study is targeted for the first quarter of 2009, with permitting beginning later in the year.
Pebble Limited Partnership, a 50/50 partnership between Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. and Anglo American PLC, is advancing the Pebble copper-gold-molybdenum project in Southwest Alaska toward permitting. The project consists of two deposits. The Pebble West deposit hosts a near-surface resource of 4.1 billion metric tons containing 24.7 billion pounds of copper, 42.1 million ounces of gold and 1.35 billion pounds of molybdenum. The deeper Pebble East deposit hosts a resource of 3.86 billion metric tons containing 49 billion pounds of copper, 45 million ounces of gold and 2.8 billion pounds of molybdenum. A proposed development plan for the project is expected in 2009.
Committee Bay Resources Ltd., after a recent merger with Niblack Mining Corp., is engaged in advanced stage exploration of the copper-zinc-gold-silver Niblack volcanogenic massive sulfide property on Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska. The property has a near-surface indicated resource of 1.424 million metric tons grading 2.86 grams per metric ton gold , 41.73 g/t silver, 1.04 percent copper and 2.14 percent zinc and a deeper inferred resource of 1.893 metric tons grading 2.07 g/t gold, 29.21 g/t silver, 1.65 percent copper, and 2.71 percent zinc. Underground drilling continues at Niblack from a main access tunnel complete this year.
PacRim Coal LPís Chuitna Coal Project is a surface coal mining and export development proposal for an ultra low sulfur, sub-bituminous coal resource located in the Beluga Coal Field, about 45 miles west of Anchorage. The project proposal consists of a surface coal mine and support facilities, transportation infrastructure, personnel housing, logistics center, and coal export terminal. The current project predicts a minimum 25-year mine life with a production rate of up to 12 million tons a year. A complete permit application for the project is expected to be submitted to Alaska Department of Natural Resources by early 2009.