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By Sarah Hurst
Mining News Contributing Writer 

Shorty Creek could have long-term future

Tri-Valley's new subsidiary Select Resources acquires copper-gold property near Fairbanks


Last updated 1/30/2005 at Noon

A new mining company has staked out a future in Alaska with the acquisition of the Shorty Creek prospect near Livengood. Select Resources, formed last December, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bakersfield, Calif.-based Tri-Valley. Gold Range Ltd., a private exploration firm headquartered in Fairbanks, has leased its Shorty Creek claims to Select Resources, Tri-Valley announced Jan. 5. Neither company disclosed details of the financial arrangement.

Indications of mineralization at the 34-square-mile Shorty Creek prospect include both copper-gold porphyries and gold systems. "The Shorty Creek prospect fits nicely in our criteria for expanding the portfolio of Select Resources," said Harry Noyes, president of Select. "It's a non-remote, big target in a historical mining area on mining-friendly state of Alaska lands. We intend to mount an immediate evaluation of the data to identify drill targets."

Noyes has a wealth of experience in Alaska, having been with Alaska Native corporation Doyon Ltd. for 14 years and long represented the U.S. Department of Energy's Alaska Remote Fuels Program. He was on Tri-Valley's board of directors when he was appointed head of Select Resources. With the creation of Select, Tri-Valley will now focus on its oil and gas interests.

Select already exploring Richardson property

In addition to Shorty Creek, Select Resources is already exploring on its Richardson property at mile 295 on the Richardson Highway, about 65 miles south of Fairbanks. Tri-Valley acquired this 42-square-mile property in 1987 and Select will be drilling several targets on it this year, according to Tri-Valley's president and CEO, F. Lynn Blystone. "We like big targets that are close to the road," Blystone told Mining News.

Select may enlist the help of specialists from TsNIGRI, the principal Russian minerals institute in Moscow, to explore the Shorty Creek prospect. "They have a lot of proprietary techniques for evaluating Arctic and sub-Arctic terrain," Blystone said. Tri-Valley has been working with these Russian specialists since 1991.

Airborne geophysical surveys outlined target

Shorty Creek first came to light in the early 1970s, but its true potential was revealed by the state of Alaska's airborne geophysical surveys more than two decades later. "They outlined a whopping magnetic target," said Fairbanks geologist Curt Freeman, who has explored the property in the past. "It's very accessible: we used to drive down the pipeline access corridor. The pipeline is a source of fuel and you can create electricity cheaper than anyone could ever wheel it up there. It's a kind of synergy that you're not going to see in a lot of other places in the state."

"Donlin Creek is probably Shorty Creek's best analog in Alaska. That makes it extremely exciting," said Paul Metz, a professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks who heads Gold Range Ltd. "We've had a working relationship with the principals in Tri-Valley for a number years, so it was an obvious match-up," he added. Having leased the Shorty Creek claims to Select, Gold Range will work on its nearby Globe Creek limestone deposit. "It could be sufficient for a world-class cement plant," Metz said. "It's a lot less risk than gold exploration."


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