The mining newspaper for Alaska and Canada's North

NovaCopper begins Arctic pre-feasibility work

NovaCopper Inc. Oct. 8 announced the completion of its 2015 field program, which started the work necessary to advance a pre-feasibility study for Arctic, the most advanced of the Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects, a partnership between NovaCopper and NANA Corp., the Alaska Native regional corporation that represents the Iñupiat of Northwest Alaska.

This work included an in-fill drill program designed to evaluate vertical and lateral continuity of the high-grade polymetallic copper-zinc-lead-gold-silver mineralization in support of upgrading inferred resources to the measured and indicated categories.

In addition to the 12 infill holes, two geotechnical holes were drilled into separate areas of the high-wall and will be used to support preliminary pit slope design and guide future geotechnical and hydrogeological site investigations.

NovaCopper also conducted a civil geotechnical assessment of potential site infrastructure and waste management facilities locations; initiated acid-base-accounting static and kinetic test work to support waste rock characterization efforts at Arctic; and completed 34,000 acres of wetlands delineation within the project area.

Environmental baseline data collection continued and a project-wide LiDAR survey was started.

NovaCopper said it continues to work closely with NANA. The company also continued to support the Alaska Industrial Development Export Authority in working towards drafting an Environmental Impact Statement to permit the Ambler Mining District Industrial Access Road.

If built, this roughly 200-mile road would link the Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects - Arctic and Bornite - to the Dalton Highway.

Alaska is reviewing all spending across all state entities, including AIDEA. NovaCopper, however, anticipates the permitting process will continue and expects a decision from the state in that regard during the fourth quarter.


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