The Estelle Community
Key Project Details
The figure below shows a typical timeline for a mining project with several stages of progression. A project only progresses to the next stage if the previous stage is successful. Although some projects advance more quickly than shown, it is rare for a project to get from discovery to a decision to mine in less than 5 years especially if it is located in a new region.
Nova is currently in the ‘Economic Assessment’ stage outlined below, where the key goal is to determine if the Estelle Gold Project hosts an economic deposit of minerals.
It is important to note that there are a number of future stages to complete before mining may commence at Estelle, and Nova anticipates this would take several years.
Nova takes its environmental responsibilities seriously and is committed to achieving excellence in environmental management through understanding the sensitivities of working within the region.
All works are governed by the Application for Permits to Mine in Alaska (APMA). There are strict provisions governing exploration and mining in Alaska, as well as legislation and a large number of supporting regulations.
Flora and Fauna
The proposed exploration program will not impact on any plant and wildlife habitats including fish. Mitigation for potential fisheries will include screened water intake structure(s) and pump(s). Water storage tanks are anticipated to be used to minimise impacts.
Prior to entering a new area, vehicles need to be cleaned to mitigate the spread of weeds and exotic plants and/or soil‐borne diseases.
During revegetation, practices will be implemented to limit the growth and spread of invasive / non‐ invasive species to ensue revegetation is successful.
Waste products generated during an exploration program will be managed appropriately to ensure it causes no harm to wildlife or damage to the environment. Nova will identify and maintain a list of all potential wastes associated with exploration activities.
Solid waste will be stored appropriately until transported to existing borough facilities for disposal. Generation of any potentially hazardous waste will be transported to an approved facility for recycling or disposal.
Because Alaska is one of the areas where impacts from climate change have been the most pronounced, we will continue to evaluate opportunities to limit our carbon footprint. Nova’s baseline data collection and analyses (air, water, soils, and biological conditions) have been planned to help account for future changes. Such changes will be incorporated into all aspects of the project design.
Nova will require significant energy to provide power for mining, processing, and ancillary facilities. We therefore will continue to evaluate during the project design for opportunities to reduce power demands and use cleaner sources of energy.
Nova will continue to manage the site through each phase of development to ensure the protection of environmental and biological resources, including reclaiming areas no longer needed for exploration activities.
The Alaska Reclamation Act AS 27.19 requires operations that disturb less than five acres to file an Annual Reclamation Statement. DNR- Mining requests that you do so by December 31st of each year that the permit is in effect. Operations that will disturb more than five acres are required to have a Reclamation Plan Approval and to submit an Annual Exploration Report detailing the exploration and reclamation actions taken during the year. Annual Hardrock Exploration Report contains the following information:
- A written narrative describing your activities and the reclamation measures taken at all disturbances.
- A topographic map showing the portion of the claim block where surface disturbing exploration activities have occurred. The plan map should be at a scale of 1″= 1 mile, or other appropriate scale sufficient to illustrate: existing trails and roads; new trails and roads; drill hole locations (other than shallow auger holes); trench locations; the camp location; and, any other surface disturbances (please distinguish between reclaimed and unreclaimed features).
- A photo of representative sections of any new road or trail construction.
- A detailed description of the methods used to plug the drill holes.
Nova’s subsidiary qualifies under AS 38.05.190 to acquire exploration and mineral rights; and is authorised to conduct a mining related business under Alaska Business License #1058506.
This document was prepared in accordance with applicable requirements and statutes of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (ADNR) including, but not limited to: 11 AAC 86.800 et seq. AS 27.19.010 et seq. 11 AAC 97.100 et seq.
Nova’s subsidiary has submitted its Application for Permits to Mine in Alaska (APMA) accompanied with an Exploration and Reclamation Plan for its proposed exploration drilling activities on Alaskan State mining claims within the Estelle Project.
Please note that an APMA does not allow the holder to conduct any mining activities. Further permitting must be granted for this to occur, a process which can take many years to approve.
Nova is now exploring an intrusive related gold system (IRGS), with all activities to date taking place on State mining claims.
Current activities include exploration drilling (using both reverse circulation and diamond core rigs) and non-ground disturbing exploration (e.g. soil sampling, ground-based geophysics and airborne geophysics).
All community feedback will be carefully considered when deciding how to proceed with exploration programs and all reasonable measures will be made to ensure a satisfactory solution is achieved for all parties.
Please contact Nova direct for further details or information requests:
Alaska Range Resources, LLC
1150 S Colony Way, Suite 3-440
Palmer, Alaska 99645
Nova aims to uphold the highest corporate, social and environmental standards and recognises the importance of building respectful and inclusive relationships with our Alaskan stakeholders, communities and governing organisations.
We are committed to positively impacting local communities within which we operate to achieve meaningful social and economic benefits for all parties.
As a member of these communities we strive to offer support, wherever possible, through prioritising local procurement and local employment and community partnering initiatives consistent with our core values – Integrity, Alignment and Advancement, and above all to ‘Do the right thing’.
The following guidelines provide the framework for Community Investment decision making.
As funding is limited during the current exploration stage, Nova has determined three focus areas of Education, Environment and Community Connection in order to best prioritise our support.
Requests for funding that align with the following core focus areas will be prioritised :
- Education – initiatives that advance and improve regional educational opportunities.
- Environment – initiatives that protect and rehabilitate the environment.
- Community Connection – supporting local opportunities, events and groups to strengthen the community connection within the region.
Nova currently deems its local communities relevant to the Estelle Project to be: Willow, Skwentna and surrounds.
Types of Contributions:
- Sponsorships – commitment of money or resources in exchange for specific promotional benefits.
- Donations – a monetary contribution. Nova does not expect anything in return for these contributions.
- In-kind Support – non-monetary contributions such as volunteer support.
What will not be supported?
- That do not align with Nova’s core values.
- That are retrospective in nature.
- From individuals seeking support.
- From profit businesses.
- From programs located outside of Nova’s ‘local communities’.
- From organisations or individuals that promote activities that are discriminatory or offensive.
- From a program that is traditionally the role of the government.
- From any political parties or government departments.
- That duplicate services already provided within the community.
Supporting Alaskan Communities
In 2021, Nova participated in a funding partnership with the State of Alaska, industry peers and native corporations to help supply fish to the communities along the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers and Emmonak that have suffered from salmon shortages.
This has been a tremendous team effort to get salmon into the hands of our fellow Alaskans in need. Salmon is the lifeblood for those along the Yukon, and my administration wasn’t going to sit on the sideline while our rural communities struggled to put food on the table. Alaskans are at their finest when hardship strikes. I am grateful for the strong partnerships and collaboration between local businesses, tribal and village leaders, seafood processors, and shipping companies who all played an integral role in the success of this project.
Other Community Support
Nova actively supports Alaskan communities by being a good neighbor and supporting local lodges, like The Perrins Rainy Pass Lodge, with not only business income from lodgings in our early years, but by providing logistics support for its personal needs, including bringing in various supplies and fuel for the Iron Dog race.
Nova Support and Sponsorships:
- Skwentna barge landing / river access road improvements
- Alaska Resource Education sponsor
- Kenai River Sportfishing Association sponsor
- Iron Dog snow machine race sponsor/prizes
- Iron Dog Rainy Pass Lodge checkpoint sponsor – provide all fuel
- Iron dog Skwentna checkpoint sponsor
- Skwentna XC200 snow machine race sponsor
- Iditarod dog sled race support
- Skwentna Fly-In event sponsor
- Matsu Valley Youth Sport Programs sponsor
- Other community food / salmon donations