Testing fuels optimism about North Island mine project

Drill samples near Holberg yield results that have Northisle officials excited about the economic possibilities of proposed copper/gold mine

Map showing the area under consideration by Northisle for their Hushamu copper and gold mining project.

It’s still a long way from becoming reality.

But optimism about a new copper and gold mine that could create jobs for more than 500 people in the North Island is growing.

Results from four drill holes connected to the Hushamu Project on the north side of Holberg Inlet have Northisle Copper and Gold representatives excited.

“Collectively, the four holes support the historical drill data and confirm that the Red Dog resource qualifies for inclusion in the overall Hushamu project,” said Northisle President Jack McClintock.

The drilling confirmed decades-old unreliable reports about the mineral strength of Red Dog, located west of the initial Hushamu deposit. Those reports had to be verified because they were claimed prior to the $6-billon Bre-X gold scandal in 1997 when “a company could basically say what it wanted and there was no real hard and fast rules,” McClintock said in a previous interview.

“With all four verification holes supporting the validity of the Red Dog resource, we can now move ahead with the (Preliminary Economic Assessment) that incorporates Red Dog and Hushamu,” McClintock said Wednesday. “As we have said before, inclusion of Red Dog has the potential to significantly benefit the overall scope and economics of the project.”

A PEA looks at the economics and how much work has to get done to get deposits into production. The data will be sent to an independent qualified person, who will calculate the resource for Red Dog.

Being able to include Red Dog as a potential source of higher-grade feed during the initial start-up period for Hushamu has the potential to significantly benefit the overall scope and economics of the project, McClintock said.

The North Island Copper-Gold Project is situated approximately 15 to 40 kilometres southwest of Port Hardy and contains the Hushamu Deposit and five other partially explored copper-gold porphyry occurrences.

If a mine does go ahead it would potentially be on the same scale as the nearby Island Copper Mine which closed in 1995. The project consists of approximately 38,000 hectares of mineral claims scattered throughout a 50- by eight-kilometre area. North Isle estimates its mine would employ between 500 and 600 people.

For more information on Northisle and the Hushamu Deposit click here.