The mining newspaper for Alaska and Canada's North

NovaCopper focuses on studies needed for Arctic pre-feasibility

NovaCopper Inc. June 22 said the Bornite Camp is being prepared for the 2016 field program at the Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects located in Northwest Alaska.

The majority of this year's project budget of US$5.5 million is planned to be spent on roughly 3,000 meters of drilling at the Arctic project.

The program will include drilling for geotechnical, hydrological, waste rock characterization and metallurgical studies as well as further resource definition.

The company is also planning a series of environmental studies that include an aquatic survey, avian and large mammal habitat survey, and a continuation of baseline environmental information collection.

The LiDAR survey that was incomplete last year due to weather conditions will be finished this season, while the wetlands delineation and surface water quality work is to be expanded.

This site investigation work will form the basis for completing a future pre-feasibility study on the Arctic deposit.

The exploration camp will host 40 to 50 staff and contractors with the majority of the work force hired locally and most of the work occurring from mid-June through mid-August.

"While the majority of this year's site investigation program will focus on the Arctic project, the company also will continue to improve our geological understanding of the regional exploration potential of the Ambler mining district through low-cost bedrock mapping within the Ambler schist belt and a deep penetrating soil geochemistry survey located immediately north and east of the current Bornite multibillion-pound copper resource," said NovaCopper President and CEO Rick Van Nieuwenhuyse.

"We also look forward to continuing to work closely with our partners at NANA to support training and hiring of the local work force and with (the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority) to support (its) effort to build access to the Ambler mining district." NovaCopper also said AIDEA has changed the name of the roughly 200-mile industrial access road proposed from the Dalton Highway to the Ambler mining district to the Ambler Mining District Industrial Access Project.

At the end of 2015, AIDEA initiated an environmental impact statement process for the access road by filing a consolidated right-of-way permit application with a half-dozen relevant federal agencies, including the National Park Service, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Coast Guard, and the Federal Highway Administration.

AIDEA's project team is working with residents and communities to address their concerns and will be thoroughly investigating all potential impacts on local communities and subsistence resources.

NovaCopper shareholders have approved changing the company's name to Trilogy Metals Inc. and implementation of the new name is expected around Sept. 1.


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