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Canadian firm looks to Alaska in hopes of finding gold

A junior mining company from Canada is searching for gold in eastern Alaska properties. The largest private landowner in the state, Doyon Limited, an Alaska Native corporation, owns two of the properties.

Junior mining company -- Tectonic Metals -- formed about two years ago.

After finding success with – the Coffee Gold Project – in Yukon, several executives from a previous company joined together in hopes of capitalizing on their momentum.

“We decided to somewhat keep the team together,” said Tony Reda, the CEO and president of Tectonic. “We made a commitment to work together.”

The team brought in an Alaska geologist who’s a 30-year veteran of the junior mining industry – which is covers mostly exploratory services and -- potentially -- some mine advancement.

Reda says the Yukon became crowded with mining, and two years ago they started looking into three properties in Alaska.

One tantalizing aspect – the Tintina Gold Belt.

“The Tintina gold belt is a belt of rocks --  if you will -- that encompasses Alaska and Yukon. There's multiple mines within that belt, multiple projects, prospects, so it's generally speaking it's defined by the geology not so much by geographically. So it's there are many prolific belts throughout the world, and the Tintina is one of them.”

Reda says that Alaska’s appeal is it checks off several boxes including:

  • Infrastructure;
  • Accessibility to power;
  • Previous exploration;
  • And the geology.

“Alaska represents an area that we believe is under-explored and sort of right for the plucking,” he said. “We like to play big so we look for multi-million ounce gold camps or gold districts, and gold deposits, large scale deposits with big footprints.”
The three properties include two Doyon Limited properties – Northway and Seventymile.

“We decided based on our filter of where can we find a large scale deposit using those filters, we vectored in on Doyon land. … They actually are a very sophisticated organization. They're pro-business, pro-mining, they're the largest land owner in Alaska, so it's kind of hard to work in the state wihtout bumping into them.”

Reda says the relationship with Doyon is mutually beneficial.

“A lot of that geological data is not in a public domain, there's not a requirement to disclose that, there's also advantages on working on Native-owned land. There's a different permitting process, things can be more streamlined, you deal directly with the Native corporation on many matters so we saw this as a huge opportunity that could be beneficial for both parties.”

Reda says that Doyon and Tectonic have an agreement already in place that governs the exploration on the Native corporation’s land, as well as possible production and royalties.

“These aren't mines, these are projects, we've yet to establish there's a scale or economics of anything of that nature that you can say that this is a mine,” Reda said. “We look for characteristics that could potentially through drilling go down that road.  “They're projects and in every sense of the word they are early stage.”

Tectonic recently went public on the Toronto Stock Exchange. A third property that Tectonic Metals is exploring is Tibbs Creek.

(Editor's note: This story was originally broadcast and published on June 11, 2019)

Originally from the Midwest, Tripp Crouse (Ojibwe, a descendent of Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, pronouns: they/them) has 15-plus years in print, web and radio journalism. Tripp first moved to Alaska in 2016 to work with KTOO Public Media in Juneau. And later moved to Anchorage in 2018 to work with KNBA and Koahnic Broadcast Corporation. Tripp currently works for Spruce Root in Juneau, Alaska. Tripp also served as chair of the Station Advisory Committee for Native Public Media.