By Patricia Liles
Mining News editor 

NovaGold ramps up for Ambler; first season on volcanogenic massive sulfide deposit


Last updated 6/20/2004 at Noon

NovaGold Resources plans to work on its other large metals deposit this summer, the Ambler property located in the remote part of northwestern Alaska, filing a permit with the state to drill up to 21 core holes.

The company announced a $1.5 million budget for the property earlier this year, shortly after signing an agreement with Kennecott to acquire a 51 percent interest in the gold, silver, copper and base metals deposit.

Helicopter-supported exploration work will take place between June 15 and Sept. 30, according to the company's annual exploration application filed with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources on May 17.

Crews of up to 15 people will be staged out of the Bornite Camp, in an existing facility owned by the NANA Corp. about 14 miles southwest of the Arctic deposit.

Drill holes will range in depth from 500 feet to 2,000 feet, according to exploration plans outlined to the state by project manager Stan Dodd. Most of the work, 17 holes and 2,700 feet of constructed drill trails, will be on private patented claims. Three holes and 1,100 feet of trail will be on unpatented federal claims and one hole will be on state of Alaska claims.

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NovaGold plans its initial 2,000-meter (6,400 feet) drilling work at the Arctic deposit, the most advanced target on the Ambler property. Previous exploration identified an inferred resource at Arctic, containing 817,000 ounces of gold, 62.1 million ounces of silver, 3.2 billion pounds of copper, 4.2 billion pounds of zinc and 640 million pounds of lead.

That puts the Arctic deposit in the top volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits in the world based on in-situ metal value, according to the company's statement.

NovaGold can earn its 51 percent interest in Ambler by matching Kennecott's historical spending on the property, which totals $20 million. NovaGold has until 2016 to do so, although the agreement requires a minimum of $5 million on exploration and development spending during the first five years.


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