Mining Explorers 2014: NovaCopper Inc.
Did you find this article interesting?
Chairman: Thomas Kaplan
President and CEO: Rick Van Nieuwenhuyse
Project Manager, Upper Kobuk Mineral Project: Scott Petsel
NovaCopper Inc. has nearly reached its preliminary goal of defining 10 billion pounds of high-grade copper at the Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects, a long-term partnership between NovaCopper and NANA Regional Corp. The alliance combines Bornite and a number of other mineral prospects on NANA-owned lands with the world-class Arctic deposit and dozens of similar volcanogenic massive sulfide prospects located on NovaCopper’s state, federal and patented mining claims in the Ambler Mining District. In March, NovaCopper provided an updated resource that increases the contained copper at Bornite by 2.56 billion pounds. The updated resource includes: indicated resources of 14.1 million metric tons grading 1.08 percent (334 million pounds) copper and inferred resources of 109.6 million metric tons grading 0.94 percent (2.3 billion pounds) copper for the potentially open-pittable portion of the Bornite; and inferred resources of 55.6 million metric tons grading 2.8 percent (3.4 billion pounds) copper for the deeper, potentially underground minable portion of the project. The new resource estimate incorporates results from 216 drill holes including 17 holes totaling 8,142 meters drilled by NovaCopper in 2013, as well as new assays from 42 historical Kennecott drill holes comprising 14,457 meters with partial or no previous assays. Between Bornite and Arctic, the equivalent of roughly 9.5 billion pounds of copper has been identified, so far, at the Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects, when you calculate the worth of the zinc, lead, silver and gold found with the copper at Arctic. During 2014, NovaCopper conducted a modest field program which primarily consist of re-logging and re-assaying between core from holes historically drilled within the extensions of the Upper and Lower Reef mineralization captured in the Bornite open pit resource and the up-dip portion of South Reef zone but only selectively sampled by Kennecott. This effort is a continuation of last year’s program that contributed to a significant increase in the low-grade copper mineralization at Bornite. In July, crews arrived at the Bornite camp and began the cataloging and shipment of 4,030 boxes representing 12,918 meters of historical Bornite drill core to the company’s warehouse and core logging facilities in Fairbanks, where crews have begun the re-logging and resampling of this core. NovaCopper expects this program will add lower grade material to the Bornite copper inventory and reduce the strip ratio for a potential open pit mining operation. In addition to the resampling program, NovaCopper is continuing to support the Alaska Industrial Development Export Authority in initiating the permitting process on the Ambler Mining District Industrial Access Road, a 211-mile- (340 kilometers) long road, extending west from the Dalton Highway to the project area. In 2013, NovaCopper and AIDEA entered into a memorandum of understanding that formalizes the roles of each party as they relate to permitting the Ambler Road and developing one or more mines at the Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects. In April, AIDEA was given the go-ahead by its board of directors to begin the permitting process for the Ambler Road and to engage a firm to prepare the environmental impact statement for the project under the direction of the federal agencies. NovaCopper anticipates signing a memorandum of understanding with AIDEA to explore the feasibility of utilizing liquefied natural gas from a plant the authority is preparing to build on the North Slope to replace diesel as the primary source of fuel for any future mines at the Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects. According to a preliminary economic assessment completed in 2013, open-pit mining of the volcanogenic massive sulfide deposit at Arctic is projected to require 15 megawatts of peak load power. The PEA estimates that an open-pit mine at Arctic would produce an after-tax net present value (8.0 percent discount) of US$537.2 million; internal rate of return of 17.9 percent; and payback of five years. NovaCopper believes that switching from the diesel to LNG to fuel the electrical generation will substantially reduce the operating costs assumed in the PEA.
Cash and short-term deposits: US$7 million (Aug. 31, 2014)
Working capital: US$6 million (Aug. 31, 2014)
Market capitalization: US$53.6 million (Oct. 9, 2014)
1950 - 777 Dunsmuir Street
Vancouver, BC V7Y 1K4
Print this story | Email it to an associate.
Tweet it||Digg it|
Click here to subscribe to Mining News North of 60 for as low as $89 per year