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By Shane Lasley
Mining News 

Tlicho Road restart great news for NWT

Will provide affordable access to communities, mine projects


Last updated 6/11/2020 at 12:19pm

Nighthawk Colomac exploration camp Indin Lake gold property NWT

Nighthawk Gold Corp.

While Nighthawk Gold's exploration at Indin Lake is adequately serviced by a 5,000-foot airstrip and a future gold mine on the property would not require year-round surface access, the Tlicho all-season road would make it easier and less expensive to get equipment and supplies to Northwest Territories property during the winter months.

Resumption of construction of the Tlicho all-season road is good news for Colomac and Nico, two mineral exploration projects in Canada's Northwest Territories.

The Tlicho Road is being constructed along an existing winter route that connects the community of Whati to Highway 3, which is roughly 97 kilometers (60 miles) to the south.

Construction of the road got under way last September, but activities were halted due to COVID-19 but ramped back up in mid-May.

Nighthawk Gold Corp.'s Indin Lake gold property lies about 160 kilometers (100 miles) northeast of Whati and the soon to be build Tlicho Road.

Colomac, the most advanced project on Nighthawk's 222,203-acre Indin Lake gold property, hosts 50.3 million metric tons of inferred resource averaging 1.62 grams per metric ton (2.6 million ounces) gold. A new calculation, slated to be released by the end of this month, will include 50,000 meters of drilling completed in 2018 and 2019 is expected to significantly expand this resource.

While Nighthawk is not dependent on the road for its exploration and a gold mine at Colomac would not require year-round surface access, the Tlicho all-season road would make it easier and less expensive to get equipment and supplies to Indin Lake during the winter months.

"This project is important for industry and local residents as the road will allow transportation efficiencies to reduce the cost of living within the region, foster social opportunities by linking up some of the more remote communities such as Whatı̀ and demonstrates the territory's commitment to infrastructure development," said Nighthawk Gold President and CEO Michael Byron. "While Nighthawk is not dependent on winter road access as we utilize our 5,000-foot air strip to transport people and supplies as needed, the TASR (Tlicho all-season road) will ultimately result in much better winter road access to our Indin Lake gold property."

This road is more crucial to the economics of a future mine at Fortune Minerals Ltd.'s Nico cobalt-gold-bismuth-copper project, which will need road access to deliver concentrates to market.

Located about 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Whati, Nico host enough mineral reserves to support a 21-year mine that would average 1,615 metric tons of battery-grade cobalt; 41,300 ounces of gold; 1,750 metric tons of bismuth; and 265 metric tons of copper per year.

This operation detailed in a 2014 feasibility study is based on 33.1 million metric tons of reserves averaging 0.11% cobalt, 0.14% bismuth, 0.04% copper and 1.03 grams per metric ton gold.

This mix of metals in a potential Canadian mine makes Nico an intriguing prospect for those wanting to see more critical minerals mined and refined in North America.

Tlicho road to Whati Northwest Territories Nico cobalt bismuth Colomac gold

Government of Northwest Territories

Fortune has already received its environmental assessment approval and the major permits needed to build the mine, including a 50-kilometer (30 miles) spur road to Whati. This spur, coupled with the Tlicho Road, would connect Nico to Canada's contiguous road system and allow for concentrates rich in base, precious and critical minerals to be delivered to market.

The Tlicho Road is currently on pace for completion by fall of 2021.

Find out more about the Nico project at Fortunate mix of critical metals in Canada in the March 10 edition of Metal Tech 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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