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By Shane Lasley
Mining News 

First step on road to Estelle gold project

AIDEA, Mat-Su and Nova to study access west of Susitna River


Last updated 4/24/2020 at 3:55am

Tracked atv drill rig travel winter ice road to Nova Estelle gold project Alaska

Nova Minerals Ltd.

Tracked vehicles and a winter road offers Nova Minerals with a relatively low-cost means of transporting goods and supplies to Estelle. The company hopes a year-round road will provide future access to this gold-rich property about 100 miles northwest of Anchorage, Alaska.

Nova Minerals Ltd. April 20 announced that the Alaska Industrial Development Export Authority (AIDEA) has approved a resolution authorizing an agreement to advance studies of the West Susitna Access Road, which would provide surface access to the resource-rich area of Alaska where Nova's Estelle gold project is located.

"First and foremost, being Alaskan born and bred, I am extremely excited about this initiative for my people and state," said Nova Minerals CEO Chris Gerteisen. "The economic and social benefits will be tremendous for the state of Alaska. The approval from AIDEA marks the first step towards the construction of an industrial road to the 2.5-million-ounce Estelle gold camp and in unlocking the Estelle gold district at a time of the company commencing its drilling program to significantly increase the resource.

Being considered under Alaska's Roads to Resources program, the West Susitna Access Road would run about 100 miles northwest from the Port MacKenzie area. This would provide access to a scenic and resource-rich area west of the Susitna River.

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough and AIDEA entered into an agreement last fall to look into this potential road. Under the agreement, AIDEA and the borough would each contribute up to $50,000 towards feasibility studies for the road if a third party would also contribute funds.

Nova said it is prepared to commit $100,000 toward the next phase of engineering and environmental work and to assist in funding further works that would be needed to advance the road toward its gold project.

AIDEA, Matanuska-Susitna Borough and Nova will work together and in conjunction with other Alaska agencies – including the Department of Transportation, Department of Natural Resources, and Department of Environmental Conservation – on proposed industrial road access corridors that would serve the purpose of providing access for development of the mineral resources at Estelle.

AIDEA's Board approved a resolution that authorizes the authority to enter into a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Nova for planning and engineering the West Susitna Access Road project.

Created by the Alaska Legislature in 1967, AIDEA is the development finance arm of the state of Alaska. With a primary objective of spurring economic growth in Alaska, AIDEA has financed hundreds of projects around the state that range from small business loans to the development of large infrastructure projects. One of the largest and most financially successful projects in AIDEA's portfolio is the Delong Mountain Transportation System, a road and port project that connects the Red Dog zinc mine in Northwest Alaska to world markets.

More information on AIDEA and its investments in mineral related projects in Alaska can be found at A great Alaska AIDEA published in the November 2018 edition of North of 60 Mining News.

"AIDEA has successfully pursued on numerous occasions its mandate to promote, develop and advance economic activity in Alaska through strategic partnerships with the mining industry," said Gerteisen. "In addition to its financing capabilities, AIDEA brings invaluable experience as an organization that has partnered with mine developers, and permitted and constructed industrial facilities in Alaska."

As studies get underway for the West Susitna Access Road, Nova continues to explore the Estelle gold project at the western end of the proposed route.

Nova Mineral drills Korbel target at Estelle gold project during 2019

Nova Minerals Ltd.

Nova Minerals outlined an inaugural resource containing 2.5 million ounces of gold with 18 holes drilled at the Korbel targets on the Estelle project during 2019.

This includes an 18,500-meter phase-1 2020 drill program being carried out this year to expand the 2.5-million-oz inferred gold resource in the Korbel area at the north end of Estelle, as well as explore some of the most intriguing gold targets identified across the 54,400 acres of state mining claims that make up the property.

"Nova remains fully committed to the Estelle Gold Project and we have every confidence that, over time with further exploration, discovery and development of mines and in partnership with local communities and public institutions, it will become significant contributor to the economy of Alaska," said Gerteisen.

More information on the Estelle property and the 2020 exploration program there can be read at Nova ramping drills back up at Estelle in the April 17 edition of North of 60 Mining News.

Author Bio

Shane Lasley, Publisher

Over his more than 11 years of covering mining and mineral exploration, Shane has become renowned for his ability to report on the sector in a way that is technically sound enough to inform industry insiders while being easy to understand by a wider audience.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: (907) 726-1095


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