Mineral Exploration - Recent Projects

Discoveries of major gold deposits

Alaska Earth Sciences has a long history of working with junior and major mining companies to move projects from concept to discovery. Our focus on high-potential terrains and ability to manage complex exploration programs in remote areas has been a winning formula in several mineral plays.

Soon after its founding in 1985, AES principals were instrumental in the discovery of Donlin Creek in Alaska’s Kuskokwim Mountains. In the last few years, AES has led the discovery and development of major deposits in Canada and on the Alaska Peninsula. 

Project Management leads to discovery at Springpole

Highlighting AES’s ability to work in Canada, Springpole is one of the most exciting new gold discoveries in North America. Many companies had tried and failed to identify a deposit in this terrain within northwest Ontario’s Archean greenstone belt over the last 20 years.

In late 2009 Gold Canyon Resources, a Canadian junior exploration company, hired AES to ramp up and focus its exploration program. AES Senior Geologist Alan Roberts developed a geologic model that led to the discovery of the core of what may be a new type of high-grade, structurally controlled gold system within and along the margins of a sheared, potassic stock. Alaska Earth Sciences has also provided project geologists whose duties include diamond drilling supervision, core logging, sampling, Quality Assurance/Quality Control, and petrographic analysis and interpretation.

AES Operations and Logistics Manager David Redgrave played a key role in planning and mobilizing the personnel, drills, and supplies for the exploration program, which required four diamond drills running around the clock through 2010-2012. This entailed building 60 miles of ice roads, designing, fabricating and transporting barges to serve as drilling platforms on Springpole Lake, and utilizing local resources to support the program.

AES Leading Role in Discovery at Donlin Creek

The Donlin project is a 20-million ounce epithermal gold deposit on native land in southwestern Alaska. Permitting is expected to commence in 2012.

Alaska Earth Sciences made surface discoveries while consulting for Calista (Regional Native) Corporation in 1986-1987 and led exploration teams with focused geochemical, geophysical, geological mapping and diamond-core drilling programs onsite through 1995. 

Our role included:

  • Bringing the resources of West Gold and Placer Dome to the project
  • Leading local hire initiatives, which included training native shareholders to work as geochemical samplers, line cutters, geotechnical assistants, and drillers
  • Supporting camps and exploration with logistical and operational coordination

Project Management of Gold Exploration Program on Native Land in Alaska Range

International Tower Hill contracted AES to manage a comprehensive exploration program on Ahtna Regional Corporation lands in 2010. This helicopter-supported, copper – gold exploration program employed airborne (ZTEM) and ground (IP/MT) geophysics, geological mapping and prospecting, stream sediment sampling, grid and reconnaissance soil sampling, and core drilling. 

 In 2010 AES managed a four-month field program supported from a 35-person road-based camp on the Glenn Highway. AES provided budgeting, permitting, claim staking, personnel, community relations, and logistical support. Our community engagement program included a successful local-hire initiative, with Ahtna shareholders staffing a large percentage of the field positions. 

AES focuses major project development on the Alaska Peninsula

Quite possibly the next porphyry copper-gold mine in Alaska will be on Aleut (Regional Native) Corporation land within the Aleutian volcanic province on the Alaska Peninsula or Unga Island. 

Alaska Earth Sciences has:
  • Leveraged our decades of exploration experience in this region to identify specific development targets
  • Negotiated land positions with Native regional and village corporations
  • Initiated community engagement efforts to effectively involve local shareholders in the project
  • Brought junior and major mining companies to the table
  • Provided geological, logistical and operational support to ongoing exploration efforts

“We’ve been instrumental in the early stages of development of some of Alaska’s greatest mineral prospects and mines. There are more Red Dogs and Pebbles out there just waiting to be discovered.” Bill Ellis, Vice President