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Gold exploration continues at Herbert Glacier

Posted: June 23, 2012 - 11:09pm

Grande Portage Resources Ltd. recently kicked off another season of gold exploration at the base of Herbert Glacier and was able to avoid delay from changes to Forest Service practice.

Grande Portage began drilling on Tuesday, Ian Klassen, the mining company’s president and CEO said. Grande Portage is the operator in a joint venture with Quaterra Resources Inc.

“We will have two diamond drill rigs operating this season,” Klassen stated in an email interview. ”We expect to complete up to 70 holes and expect this will be in the 12,000-15,000 meter range.”

This more than doubles the company’s current total of 65 exploratory holes.

A District Court ruling in late 2011 put a hold on the Forest Service practice of categorical exclusion. For projects known to have no significant human impacts, the Forest Service can grant approval without the standard environmental assessment or the more detailed environmental impact statement. Grand Portage’s helicopter-based exploration is an example of a project that could be affected.

Klassen stated Grande Portage exploration was not delayed by the finding.

“We were well aware of the California Court decision,” Klassen wrote. “This had no delay on our permitting. We would not have commenced before June 16 at any rate.”

Grande Portage will employ two diamond drills this season. A larger drill will explore deep while a smaller drill is scheduled to explore over a mile of shallower holes along multiple ore veins.

Based on its exploration to date, Grande Portage announced a resource estimate in April inferred from drill results at two of the site’s four main veins. The site’s gold resource was reported to be 0.142 ounces per ton of ore, according to the company’s report.

Grande Portage is the majority holder in a joint venture with Quaterra Resources to explore the Herbert Glacier site. Both companies are headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia.

• Contact reporter Russell Stigall at 523-2276 or at russell.stigall@juneauempire.com.

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