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Niblack Gold Prospect

Last Modified: 11th October 2013


The Niblack Project is a copper-zinc-gold-silver deposit located on Prince of Wales Island, about 30 miles southwest of Ketchikan.  The current "indicated resource" consists of 2.6 million tons of ore, composed of 1.18% copper, 2.19% zinc 2.33 g/t gold, and 33.18 g/t silver.

The project is being undertaken by Heatherdale Resource Ltd.,  a member of the Hunter Dickinson Mining Group (which also includes Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd., a partner in the proposed Pebble Mine project).  Heatherdale also owns the rights to the nearby Cayenne and Ruby Tuesday properties, both of which contain non-operating historic mining operations.  Power at the site might come from development of hydropower resources in the area, but no details have emerged.  Another possibility is that the company would barge the ore to a milling site near Kethikan to take advantage of existing hydropower.  Site assessment for this arrangement is currently underway.  The state is also considering constructing a road to the mine that would facilitate access.

Current Status

In June 2011, the company proposed an "optimistic" opening date of 2015 but no permit applications have yet been filed.  Exploration in 2012 was expected to consist of around 5,000 meters of drilling.  Also in October 2012, work began on establishing the feasibility of locating the tailings facility and mill on Gravina Island.  However, work slowed during 2013 due to a lack of security and funding in the mining industry and the project is in stasis until at least 2014.  Meanwhile AIDEA signed an agreement to support the facility on Gravina Island.

Niblack Mine Proposal

Niblack Mine proposal. Click on a feature to see description. Roads: Red segments = road options proposed by Niblack. Blue/purple segments = existing logging roads Mining Claims: Large turquoise outline = Federal mining claims. Small turquoise-outlined rectangles = original patented claims Mineralized zone: = pink-filled area Proposed mining facilities = yellow push pins Natural features = blue push pins Kegan Lake wild and scenic area = purple-filled blob

2010$15 million exploration program consisting primarily of a large number of drill holes.
2011Ongoing drill program consisting of at least 20 holes from three drill rigs.
2012$5.2 million exploration program including 16,000 feet of drilling and the start of economic feasibility studies.
2013Exploration halted until at least 2014 due to lack of funding.

See also further details on this exploration or our interactive map of exploration in the state.

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Attribution and Copyright info

By Andrew MattoxDavid CoilElizabeth LesterBretwood HigmanGround Truth Trekking

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Date Created: 31st July 2010