ALASKA – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will reinstate the wetlands permit for the Rock Creek gold project on March 13, 2007. The project, located 12 km from Nome, is owned by Vancouver-based NOVAGOLD RESOURCES. The company is preparing the mine for production to begin in Q3 2007.
The permit was suspended pending review in December 2006, following a lawsuit filed against the Corps challenging its issuance of a permit for the project. Neither NovaGold nor its subsidiary, Alaska Gold, was named as a defendant. The lawsuit was based on allegations that the Corps issued the permit in violation of government legislation. After examining the permitting process, the Corp filed notice of its intent to reinstate the Rock Creek permit with certain modifications. Additional stipulations that cover reporting and mitigation will be included. NovaGold says it expects the permit will be challenged again.
Construction at Rock Creek continues through the winter at portions of the site previously disturbed. Foundations have been poured to the plant and equipment service areas. The open pit mine and 7,000-t/d mill are expected to produce 100,000 oz of gold annually. Additional details are available at www.NovaGold.net.