Beluga Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) Exploration Project for CIRI/Laurus – 2009-2012

Our involvement began in 2009 when Laurus Energy approached AES for advice on where they should focus their attention in Alaska.   They wished to identify and develop power from a proprietary process which captured gas from controlled combustion of underground coal beds.  AES management introduced Laurus Energy to the CIRI Land and Resources Department in late 2009 and following these early meetings a partnership between CIRI and Laurus evolved.  AES was selected to manage the exploration of CIRI lands within the Tyonek-Beluga area on Cook Inlets west shore. Widespread data from past coal and gas exploration was researched and compiled.  Primary target areas were identified and initial field visits was initiated ar narrow the selection of areas to be explored with geophysics and drill holes. The gained momentum quickly and with input from Laurus and its consultants. AES project managers tracked approved budgets and completed progress reports to the CIRI Land and Resource Department.  The project included mobilization of equipment across Cook Inlet in winter, survey and development of snow roads and ice bridges, drill pad clearing and construction, geologic logging, winter seismic surveys with heli-portable blast hole drills, diamond core drilling to 2500 foot depths and rotary drilling with downhole Odex tooling for installation of casing, installation and monitoring of water wells, coordination of air support, camp coordination, community engagement and subcontracting with Tyonek Construction. 

Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project

Alaska Energy Authority

Alaska Earth Sciences (AES) operated as the Logistics Manager for the State of Alaska, Alaska Energy Authority Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Baseline Studies. AES’ responsibilities involved the coordination of assets, camp management, logistics management, asset tracking, communications, Emergency Response planning, and subcontracting for up to 150 field personnel during summer and winter scientific programs. As a State of Alaska funded project, transparency and operational justification were required for all expenses and AES was able to realize one of the Alaska Energy Authority’s goals of contracting as much as possible with local businesses in the Mat-Su valley. Through community engagement, AES subcontracted with local vendors, personnel, and service providers to achieve an 85% spend rate in the Mat-Su Valley, and over 99% Alaska vendors.

Photo: Photographer-David Redgrave, featuring repeater station in Susitna River watershed

Graphite Creek

Graphite One Resources Inc.

Graphite Creek located 60 km north of Nome, AK is the largest known large-flake graphite deposit in the United States and the project is quickly approaching the pre-feasibility stage. Graphite One utilizes Alaska Earth Sciences (AES) for their geologic and project management skills by hiring AES to provide project managers, camp managers, camp support, geologists, and logistics in the field. AES provides GIS and 3D modelling services to the project. AES also serves as the qualified person overseeing the quality assurance and quality control of the project, and an updated NI 43-101 Technical Report.

Photo: Graphite deposit prospect area, Sept 2014, Photo by Dave Hembree 

Port Gravina – Prince William Sound Quarry

Chugach Alaska Corporation

Alaska Earth Sciences (AES) was contracted by Chugach Alaska Corporation to evaluate their lands for potential hard rock quarry sites. The initial assessment of three sites included aerial LiDAR survey and desktop analysis where surface geology and structures were interpreted. The desktop analysis was followed up with field visits to map and sample rock exposures. Port Gravina (between Valdez and Cordova in Prince William Sound) was selected as the most favorable site for additional exploration and potential development. At Port Gravina AES conducted test blasts, core drilling, near shore auger drilling of marine sediments, and conceptual mine and infrastructure planning. Most recently, AES has provided onsite owner representation for Chugach Alaska Corp. and construction management for uplands and marine development/construction projects at Port Gravina-Prince William Sound Quarry.

Photo: Andy Angel at Gravina site assessment, Aug 2013, photo by Varina Zinno

Mount Spurr

Ormat Technologies, Inc.

Ormat Technologies, Inc. conducted geothermal exploration work at Mount Spurr, on the west side of Cook Inlet approximately 80 miles west of Anchorage. Alaska Earth Sciences (AES) provided overall project management, geologists, laborers, camp personnel, mobilization of a large diamond drilling rig and its contractor, all logistics, shipping, and personnel transport. Geologic services provided by AES included well-site geology, core-logging, geological and geochemical sampling, drilling operations management, geothermal resource evaluation, and client field liaison services. AES also coordinated social/cultural/interethnic communication workshops for client employees and subcontractors to improve interaction with local residents, shareholder hires and shareholder-owned vendors and subcontractors. Finally, AES managed and executed the Plug and Abandon effort under the purview of the Alaska Oil & Gas Conservation Commission.

Photo: Mt. Spurr, July 2016. Photo by Michelle Johnson.