Today’s Key Takeaways: Rapid development of gold project on Doyon land. Can an oil tycoon lure Gen Z to the industry? AIDEA helps IGU purchase trucks for transporting natural gas from the North Slope. Supremes won’t take up Alaska case challenging EPA’s Pebble Mine preemptive veto.
NEWS OF THE DAY:
Discovery Alaska nabs Doyon’s Vinasale
Shane Lasley, North of 60 Mining News, January 8, 2024
SW Alaska deposit hosts 2-million-oz gold deposit; DAF plans to reconfirm historic resource, explore project’s upside potential.
Discovery Alaska Ltd. Jan. 5 announced it has secured a 15-year lease on the 2-million-ounce Vinasale gold project in Alaska.
Located about 16 miles south of the Southwest Alaska mining town of McGrath, Vinasale is a roughly 6,500-acre project owned by Doyon Ltd., the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) regional corporation for the state’s Interior.
Previously explored by Freegold Ventures Ltd., Vinasale has lain dormant since that company focused its efforts on the roughly 20-million-oz Golden Summit project about 20 miles north of Fairbanks.
A calculation completed for the Central Zone deposit at Vinasale in 2013 outlined 3.41 million metric tons of indicated resource averaging 1.48 grams per metric ton gold (162,000 oz) gold and 53.25 million metric tons of inferred resource averaging 1.8 g/t (1.8 million oz) gold, at a cut-off grade of 0.5 g/t gold.
At a 1 g/t cut-off grade, this deposit hosts 2.29 million metric tons of historical indicated resource averaging 1.48 g/t (135,000 oz) gold and 22 million metric tons of inferred resource averaging 1.53 g/t (1.08 million oz) gold.
Over the near decade since Freegold relinquished its lease on Vinasale, the price of gold has risen from roughly $1,150/oz in 2015 to today’s price of around $2,000/oz.
With the strong gold market, Discovery has cut a lease agreement with Doyon for the nearly 2 million oz Vinasale property with plenty of upside potential.
“This is a significant opportunity to rapidly develop an advanced gold project at an exciting time for the gold sector with record gold prices and within a proven high-quality gold district,” said Discovery Alaska Director Jerko Zuvela.
Shale Tycoon Harold Hamm Wants to Lure Gen Z to the Oil Industry
Charles Kennedy, OilPrice.Com, January 8, 2024
Shale tycoon Harold Hamm and U.S. and European supermajors are looking to support university courses in petroleum engineering and related disciplines in a bid to attract young talent to the industry that’s not viewed favorably by Millennials and Generation Z.
Harold Hamm, the U.S. shale pioneer who founded Continental Resources, has donated to establish the Hamm Institute for American Energy at Oklahoma State University. At the end of 2021, the Harold Hamm Foundation and Continental Resources announced a combined $50 million gift to create the Hamm Institute for American Energy.
“We believe in a world where every person has access to the reliable, affordable and sustainable energy they need to thrive,” says Hamm, who is chairman of the Hamm Institute for American Energy.
Speaking to the Financial Times last week, Hamm said that “We are going to be using oil for the next 50 years and ‘clean burning’ natural gas probably for the next 100 or 150 years.”
“We want to get the next generation of gamechangers involved,” Hamm told FT.
AIDEA Consents to Funding Agreement for Interior Gas Utility
The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) has announced support for a line of credit loan from a leading banking institution which will enable the commercial use of natural gas from the North Slope by IGU in Interior Alaska.
The consent approval from AIDEA will allow IGU to secure a $7 million line of credit to purchase the 15 high-capacity trailers to transport natural gas from the North Slope. IGU will use some of the financing to advance development under the Interior Energy Project for service and main lines.
Supreme Court rejects taking up Alaska challenge to EPA’s Pebble Mine decision
Rachel Frazin, The Hill, January 8, 2024
The Supreme Court won’t take up a case seeking to revive a proposed gold and copper mine that was blocked by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2021.
The court did not comment on its decision not to take up the case.
The Biden administration took the unusual step of blocking the proposed Pebble Mine in 2021, citing its potential impacts to a major Alaskan salmon fishery.
The state of Alaska had asked the court to undo the EPA’s action.
The state argued that the EPA breached a contract between Alaska and the federal government in which the state gave up rights for land that became the Lake Clark National Park and Preserve.
In exchange, Alaska received federal lands that were known to have mineral deposits, the state said in court documents.
“The United States is now reneging on the deal,” Alaska had alleged, also noting that the mining would provide jobs to Alaskans as well as taxes and royalty payments to the state.
The federal government argued that Alaska’s claims should not rise to the level of the Supreme Court and that the state should bring its case to other forums.
From Pebble CEO, John Shively:
“While it is a disappointing decision, it is important to note that this is not a comment on the arguments put forward by the state. We have long stated our belief that the EPA has acted outside of its regulatory authority and that remains our position today. The legal issues raised by the state will now work their way through the federal courts. We will also evaluate our legal options in contesting the extraordinary steps the EPA has taken to preemptively stop the Pebble Project. Pebble is an important project for Alaska and the nation. It could create jobs for Alaskans, provide an economic catalyst for the state and provide a much-needed source of critical minerals for the long-term safety and security of the United States.”