NovaGold wants out of Galore Creek

A COMPANY that has been a major presence in northwestern mine development wants out.

A COMPANY that has been a major presence in northwest mine development wants out.

In a press release this morning, NovaGold’s board of directors announced it wants to sell all or part of the company’s 50 per cent stake in the Galore Creek copper and gold project.

The other half is owned by Teck Cominco.

Selling all of part of its stake in Galore Creek would allow NovaGold to concentrate on its Donlin Gold project in Alaska, the company said in calling the latter its “flagship” property.

NovaGold has been promoting Galore Creek as a major copper property which, if developed, would be the fourth largest copper mine in North America.

The company recently released a prefeasibility study point to the operating potential of the property and said a decision to advance to an environmental review would be made by the end of the year.

This would be the second time NovaGold and Teck Cominco have contemplated production at Galore Creek.

A $2.5 billion mine construction project was halted in late 2007 when capital cost projections doubled and the companies have been spent the years since then refining a mining plan.

Galore Creek construction had been regarded as a key part of the revival of a flagging northwestern economy until work halted in late 2007.

Galore Creek had also been regarded in 2007 as a foundation project for the Northwest Transmission Line and development work on that project was also halted when Galore Creek closed down, further dampening the regional economy.

Planning for the transmission line did resume in 2009 and actual construction work is to start next spring with owner BC Hydro looking for other customers to use the line.