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REPORTING · 14th January 2010
Merv Ritchie
Recent reports describe Nova Gold and Rio Tinto working out an arrangement regarding what has been called, by Nova Gold’s CEO, Rick Van Nieuwenhuyse, the richest deposit of volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) in the world. The mining property in Alaska, called ‘Ambler’ hosts the potential for a high grade copper, zinc and silver deposits.

The property was owned by Rio Tinto subsidiaries Kennecott Exploration and Kennecott Arctic Company. Nova Gold has reportedly committed to pay almost $30 million for the property over the next two years with a further $10 million to buy out a 1% return royalty held by Kennecott.

Scott Petsel will be the project manager for Ambler having previously managed exploration and development at the Galore Creek project, which it owns with Teck Resources, and NovaGold's large Donlin Creek project, which it owns with Barrick Gold.

“With our track record of success at Donlin and Galore, we intend to turn Ambler into another world-class property,” Van Nieuwenhuyse said.

"In 2010 we will focus on environmental baseline studies as well as engineering and metallurgical studies to gain a better understanding of the true potential of the district.”