Ambler Metals, a joint venture (JV) operating company owned by Trilogy and South32, has announced a 2021 budget of $27-million for the advancement of the Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects (UKMP), in Alaska.
The 2021 exploration programme will entail 7 600 m of infill and metallurgical drilling at the Arctic project and 7 000 m of exploration drilling focused on drill-ready targets along the Ambler volcanogenic massive sulphide belt.
Drilling at the Arctic deposit will have the dual purpose of extracting additional material for metallurgical work and for the conversion of mineral resources into the measured category. The metallurgical programme that is associated with the drilling will support variability test work and pilot plant work which will commence later in 2021.
Engineering work is continuing at Arctic with the aim of submitting the application for the notice of intent for the 404 dredge and fill permit, which is covered by the Clean Water Act, to the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Ambler expects to submit the permit applications during the second half of 2021.
Meanwhile, the companies announced that the JV will be led by Ambler president and CEO Ramzi Fawaz, VP operations Kevin Torpy and VP finance Rebecca Donald.
"I am extremely excited that the Ambler Metals joint venture has attracted experienced talent to advance the world class Arctic project to the next level. This starts with formalising the budget for the 2021 programme at the UKMP. The proposed budget is expected to have a twofold positive impact for the company in that we will continue to de-risk the Arctic project and we will also move forward in unlocking the mineral potential within the 100-km-long VMS mineral belt, as well as around the Bornite copper/cobalt deposit. I am also pleased in that Ambler Metals is making positive progress towards the commencement of permitting of the Arctic project,” says Trilogy president and CEO Tony Giardini.
Trilogy and South32 formed the Ambler JV in February. Trilogy contributed all its assets associated with the 172 675-ha UKMP, including the Arctic and Bornite projects, while South32 contributed $145-million, resulting in each party owning a 50% interest in Ambler.