NANA Regional Corporation Inc., a Regional Alaska Native Corporation (ANC) created pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) of 1971, owns and manages the surface and subsurface rights of approximately 2.2 million acres of land in Northwest Alaska, including portions of the Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects.
Our team has been working closely with NANA since work on the project was initiated in 2004 and a cooperative and long-term agreement signed in 2011 allowing for exploration and development of this major polymetallic district. The Agreement consolidates our Company’s and NANA's land holdings into an approximately ~427,000 acre land package and provides a framework for the exploration and development of this high-grade and prospective polymetallic belt. The Agreement is underlain by a mutual commitment to sustainable development.
Highlights of the Agreement, which considers exploration and potentially development, operations, reclamation, and closure, include:
- An Oversight Committee with equal representation from each party, to regularly review plans and activities on the project;
- The option for NANA to participate as a joint-venture partner or receive a net proceeds royalty upon establishment of any mining operation;
- Commitment from us to promote employment for NANA shareholders by fulfilling shareholder hiring and contracting preferences;
- Rights to lease land for mining operations;
- Payments and net smelter return royalties to NANA for mineral rights and surface use for mine-related infrastructure and facilities;
- A scholarship fund to promote education for youth in the region;
- A Sustainability Committee to protect subsistence and the Iñupiaq way of life; and
- An area of interest within which land acquired by either party will form part of the Agreement.