ALASKA Vancouver-based NOVAGOLD RESOURCES, embroiled in a hostile takeover by Barrick Gold and its own efforts to gain control of Pioneer Metals, announced on Aug. 22 that construction has begun on NovaGold's Rock Creek gold mine near Nome. Permits from the State of Alaska and U.S. Army corps of Engineers for the mine have been received.
The Rock Creek mine will be developed as a 7,000-tonnes/day conventional open pit operation, with production targeted at 100,000 oz of gold per year. Estimated total cash costs are US$260-285/oz. Remaining capital costs are estimated at $45 million. Test work at Rock Creek has shown more than 75% of the gold is recoverable using gravity methods. When combined with flotation and cyanidation, overall gold recovery is anticipated to be 88%, with gold dor poured on site.
The major mining equipment fleet, including the haul trucks, loaders, drills and construction materials, were staged on NovaGold property in Nome so that construction could begin immediately upon receipt of permits and the Board's decision. NovaGold anticipates that on-site construction will take roughly nine months.
More information about the company's projects near Nome are available at www.NovaGold.net.