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Vol. 16, No. 19 Week of May 08, 2011
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

Fortune Hunt Alaska: Saluting Don Lasley, miner and dad

Three diamonds discovered along a two-mile, or three-kilometer, stretch of Crooked Creek in the Circle Mining District during the 1980s sparked the curiosity of geologists hoping to discover the source of the gems. The first of the Crooked Creek diamonds, dubbed Arctic Ice, was a one-third carat stone discovered by Don Lasley at a gold placer operation about seven miles west of the mining town of Central (see article on page 60).

Experts said it was impossible to find quality diamonds in Alaska. Lasley disagreed, watching for them as he worked Interior gold claims. He was certain the state held a virtual bonanza of valuable elements that could contribute to a dynamic economy for the Far North.

Lasley is the father of two of our publishing company’s top people: Shane and Clint Lasley.

Shane is publisher and executive editor of North of 60 Mining News and Clint is general manager of our company.

“Dad was commonly at odds with conventional wisdom. It was this kind of outside of the box thinking that allowed him to recognize Arctic Ice as a diamond when others said it was not possible. It may take someone with a similar adventurous spirit to find the source of the Crooked Creek diamonds that have eluded geologists for nearly 30 years,” Shane said.

“Being born in Fairbanks in the years leading up to the pipeline and growing up in a rural Alaska mining town has provided me with a unique understanding of the issues surrounding resource development in the state,” he said when asked how his upbringing helped him today.

“My parents always instilled in us the importance of family, integrity and work ethic.  It is by those examples I live my life and operate our business on a daily basis,” Clint said when asked the same question.

This magazine is dedicated to their father, Don Lasley, who has retired from mining in body, but not spirit. He and his wife Carol still own the Lasley home in Central, Alaska, and visit as often as they can from New Mexico, where they moved to be closer to Don’s mother, Laurabelle Lasley.

Three of their four sons and all of their grandchildren and great-grandchildren continue to live in Alaska, instilled by Don and Carol with a love for the state and appreciation for the two industries that built it, minerals and oil.

Thank you, Don and Carol, for raising hardworking, intelligent sons. Shane is largely responsible for making North of 60 Mining News the outstanding publication it is today; Clint has made sure our company is a wonderful place to work, remains solvent and provides first-rate services to readers and advertisers.

Cheers to one and all,

Kay Cashman, publisher & executive editor Petroleum News



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