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Vol. 12, No. 30 Week of July 29, 2007
Providing coverage of Alaska and Northwest Canada's mineral industry

MINING NEWS: Rock Creek sees fatalities; costs rise

Two iron workers died during construction of NovaGold’s Rock Creek mine near Nome July 19. Craig Bagley, 27, from Anchorage and Tyler Kahle, 19, from Wisconsin, both worked for Anchorage-based contractor Alaska Mechanical. They were attaching siding to the mill building and fell about 50 feet when the lift basket they were working in tipped over, according to troopers. An investigation of the incident is under way.

NovaGold will spend an additional $40 million to complete construction and commissioning of Rock Creek, the company said in its second quarter financial results July 16. A new internal project and construction management team identified the increased costs in a recent review, which will take the mine’s total capital cost estimate to $120 million.

“The increase is the result of a number of factors, including delays in permitting that pushed major civil construction into mid-winter, rising costs, unexpected repairs to and replacement of supplied equipment, and requirements for additional labor and man hours to meet the previously announced schedule,” NovaGold said. The project is on target to achieve production by the end of this year, the company added.

In the second quarter of 2007 NovaGold reported a net loss of $3.2 million, compared with a net loss of $8.6 million in the same period last year. NovaGold also announced the appointment of Susan Mathieu as its new vice president for environment and sustainability. Mathieu was previously with Centerra Gold working on projects in Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia.

—Sarah Hurst



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