Mining News: Alaska mining experiences quiet 2012
Mineral industry roundup in Vancouver, B.C. offers state sector international exposure and numerous opportunities for rebound
For Mining News
The mining industry just passed through one of the quietest year-end transitions in over a decade. The last month has seen few new public announcements regarding Alaska mineral occurrences but that relative silence is about to change.
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Within a week of completing this summary, the 2013 Cordilleran Roundup mineral convention will begin in Vancouver, B.C. This annual event is well-attended by individuals and corporations that are active in Alaska’s mineral industry or looking to become active in Alaska’s mineral industry. With the focus of this convention being Alaska, Yukon Territory and British Columbia, it is by far the best international exposure Alaska’s mineral industry receives each year. With upwards of 8,000 in attendance, the opportunities to meet prospective new Alaska players are unsurpassed. With the opportunities available limited only by one’s imagination, look for a blizzard of news releases, both before and during the conference, extolling the virtues of Alaska mineral projects!
Western AlaskaFire River Gold Corp. announced additional drilling results at the Nixon Fork gold-copper mine near McGrath. The results are derived from 103 underground diamond drill holes totaling 9,781 meters at the Crystal mine area of the project. Significant results include 3.34 meters grading 219.13 grams per metric ton gold, 89.7 g/t silver and 6.17 percent copper and an additional 9.14 meters grading 9.76 g/t gold, <1.0 g/t silver and 0.02 percent copper in drill hole N12U-057, 4.13 meters grading 29.79 g/t gold, 1.5 g/t silver and 0.04 percent copper in drill hole N12U-058 and 3.73 meters grading 32.86 g/t gold, 1.8 g/t silver and 0.06 percent copper in drill hole N12U-069. The primary focus of this work was resource expansion of the 3300 ore body.
Alaska RangeKiska Metals Corp. announced metallurgical results from its Whistler copper project. Locked cycle flotation tests on two composite samples returned average copper concentrate grades of 25.4 percent with recoveries averaging 91.9 percent for copper and 70.4 percent for gold. These tests indicate that the mineralization is amenable to standard froth flotation recovery techniques. Results from concentrate analysis also reveal low concentrations of deleterious elements and as a result no related smelter penalties are anticipated. Recoveries of 91.9 percent for copper and 73.1 percent for gold were obtained from locked cycle flotation tests on samples from hole WH08-08 (feed grade of 0.11 percent copper and 0.43 g/t gold). The test produced a concentrate grading 24.5 percent copper and 79.3 g/t gold. Recoveries of 91.9 percent were obtained for copper and 67.7 percent for gold were obtained from locked cycle flotation tests of samples from drill hole WH10-19 (feed grade of 0.22 percent copper and 0.53 g/t gold). This test produced a concentrate grading 26.2 percent copper and 46.5 g/t gold.
Corvus Gold Inc. announced that the Company’s joint venture partner and operator of the Terra project, Westmountain Index Advisors Inc. provided metallurgical results from its initial production scale bulk sample tests. The results are from a 23-ton surface bulk sample of the Ben and Fish Creek veins. A total of 75.1 ounces of gold and 28.2 ounces of silver were produced using the onsite milling and gravity recovery system yielding recoveries of 60 percent for gold and 15 percent for silver. The doré bar from this work assayed 68.683 percent gold and 25.9 percent silver. Approximately 95 percent of the gold and silver in the concentrate reported to the doré bars. Westmountain plans to focus on a larger bulk sample next summer, utilizing the full plant capacity, which is approximately 50 metric tons per day.
Millrock Resources Inc. announced today that the strategic partnership between the company and Vale Exploration USA Inc. has concluded. Through the course of the program, Vale invested US$1.4 million for research and reconnaissance exploration for porphyry copper-gold deposits in Alaska. The work led to recommendations for five Designated Projects, one of which, the AUDN project, was accepted by Vale. Under a separate budget Vale funded US$700,000 for soil geochemical and ZTEM-magnetic airborne geophysical surveys at AUDN.
Goldrich Mining Co. announced it has sold on-site equipment at its Chandalar gold property for US$900,000 to an affiliate of NyacAU LLC. The equipment will remain at the mine site and will be leased by Goldrich NyacAU Placer, LLC, a company owned 50/50 by Goldrich and NyacAU LLC, for the production of gold at Chandalar. The venture expects to begin placer gold production at the start of the 2013 operating season with this year’s production goal of 8,500 ounces. . Continued stripping of overburden and stockpiling of placer pay gravels is planned to begin in May 2013. Goldrich forecasts that cash production costs for 2013 will be less than US$700 per ounce of gold.
Southeast AlaskaCoeur d’Alene Mines Corp. announced 2012 summary highlights for its Kensington mine. The mined produced 28,717 ounces of gold in the fourth quarter, more than double the 4th quarter production from 2011. For the year the mine produced 82,125 ounces of gold. While 2012 total production was less than the 88,420 ounces produced in 2011, the mine has only operated at full capacity since the second quarter of 2012 due to a planned shut-down during which improvements to the mine and mill were made. The mine’s 2013 cash operating costs are expected to decline significantly to US$900 - US$950 per gold ounce. The mine is expected to produce 108,000 to 114,000 ounces of gold in 2013. Full fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 production and reserve information is expected to be release in late February.
Arrowstar Resources Ltd. announced the staking of an additional 21 federal mining claims at its Snettisham iron ore prospect about 30 miles southeast of Juneau. The claims adjoin the present claim block to the east and south in an area potentially extending the magnetic highs indicated during the company’s geophysical surveys conducted earlier in 2012. The company is presently preparing a permit application for drilling on the property in 2013. Historically, Marcona Corporation announced a plan in 1970 to spend US$130 million to place this property into production at the rate of 5 million tons of iron ore per year. Steep declines in the price or iron caused the project to be delayed, and it was subsequently dropped.
Ucore Rare Metals announced publication of a Canadian Instrument 43-101 technical report providing details of its recently announced Preliminary Economic Assessment at its Bokan Mountain rare earth project near Ketchikan. The technical report includes an analysis of proposed mining methodologies, mineral processing from mine mouth to market, prospective planning and production timelines, as well as anticipated capital and operating costs, and expected internal rate or return for the project. The resource utilized in the PEA omitted the results from the I & L Zone and did not include drilling results completed in 2011 with the objective of expanding the size of the resource and upgrading its status from the Inferred to the Indicated category. The results of this drilling are currently being modeled and the company expects to release a revised resource estimate in February.
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