NANA, Nova may partner on Northwest mine projects

By Tim Bradner

Alaska Journal of Commerce

NANA Regional Corp. is close to an agreement with NovaGold Resources Inc., of Vancouver, B.C., on a partnership to jointly explore and possibly develop copper and zinc resources in the Ambler mining district of Northwest Alaska.

The plan was approved in concept by NANA's board last January but final details are still being worked out, said Lance Miller, NANA's vice president for natural resources.

NovaGold and NANA would combine resources owned by the Kotzebue-based Native regional corporation in the Bornite and Ruby Creek prospects on the upper Kobuk River with NovaGold's Ambler project, in the Ambler mining district in the same region.

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NANA owns patented mining claims at Ruby and Bornite, as well as lands in the immediate area. Kennecott Exploration Co., the previous owner at Bornite and Ruby Creek, has estimated there are about 50 million tons of ore with grades of copper ranging from 1.2 percent to 4 percent.

NovaGold's Ambler project is estimated to hold 16.8 million tons of ore indicated by drilling with average values of 4.1 percent copper and 6 percent zinc, and an additional 12 million tons of ore that are inferred, or estimated by wider-spaced drilling, with an average grade of 3.5 percent copper and 4.2 percent zinc.

Read the full story at the Alaska Journal of Commerce