Create FREE account or log in

to receive MINING.COM digests


NovaGold releases PEA for Ambler project, Alaska

NovaGold Resources  released a prefeasibility study today on its 100%-owned Ambler project in northwest Alaska. The Vancouver-based company is exploring the sprawling 36,670-hectare property, which is host to a number of high-grade copper, zinc, lead, gold and silver deposits.

According to the PEA, commissioned by SRK Consulting, the property  contains 16.8 million tonnes of indicated resources, with 4.1% copper and 6.0% zinc. The inferred category contains 12.1 million tonnes of 3.5% copper and 4.9% zinc.

The 25-year underground mine would produce 4,000 tonnes per day using a conventional flotation circuit producing three concentrates. Average annual metal production is estimated at 67 million pounds of copper, 80 million pounds of zinc, 12 million pounds of lead, 11,000 ounces of gold, and 866,000 ounces of silver.

“This preliminary economic assessment demonstrates the robust economics of developing one of the highest-grade VMS deposits in the world,” said Rick Van Nieuwenhuyse, President & CEO of NovaGold. “This economic study provides the market with additional clarity on Ambler’s potential, and we are reviewing options to best realize value from the Ambler project. As we advance the Arctic deposit, we will continue collaborating with our Alaskan Native partner and neighboring landholder, NANA Regional Corporation, to explore and develop the Ambler region.”

“Ambler offers an exciting exploration opportunity in a strong base metals market,” said Joe Piekenbrock, Vice President Exploration of NovaGold. “This year we’ll focus on converting inferred resources to measured and indicated classification and increasing the overall resource base, as well as identifying new targets for continued exploration. The Ambler property is a large district with numerous high-grade VMS deposits, and we expect to continue our track record of adding significant value with exploration success.”

Highlights:

Indicated mineral resources of 16.8 million tonne

  • 4.1% copper
  • 6.0% zinc

Inferred mineral resources of 12.1million tonnes

  • 3.5% copper
  • 4.9% zinc

Base case using long-term metal prices

  • Pre-tax NPV8% of $718 million with an IRR of 30%
  • Post-tax NPV8% of $505 million with an IRR of 25%

At current metal prices

  • Pre-tax NPV8% of $2.2 billion with an IRR of 59%
  • Post-tax NPV8% of $1.6billion with an IRR of 50%
  • Underground mining operation with 25-year mine life processing up to 4,000 tonnes per day using a conventional flotation circuit producing three concentrates
  • Average annual payable metal production estimated at 67 million pounds of copper, 80 million pounds of zinc, 12 million pounds of lead, 11,000 ounces of gold and 866,000 ounces of silver
  • Life-of-mine payable metal production estimated at 1.7 billion pounds of copper, 2.0 billion pounds of zinc, 291 million pounds of lead, 266,000 ounces of gold and 22 million ounces of silver
  • Initial startup capital of $262 million, sustaining capital of $134 million
  • Operating cost $99.32/t milled; cash cost $0.97/lb copper net of byproducts at long-term metal prices

To read the full press release click here