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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

NovaGold forced to suspend operation of Rock Creek mine

Gold production at the new Rock Creek mine near Nome has been suspended indefinitely while its Canadian owner struggles to overcome mounting debts and other major setbacks.

NovaGold Resources Inc. announced the open-pit mine has suffered from unexpected mechanical problems, including an electrical failure that shut down its mill. The company said it was concerned that the mine might not meet all of the environmental conditions imposed by state and federal regulators for it to continue operating.

"Though this has been a difficult decision with Rock Creek, based on the current economic conditions, and the challenges associated with meeting environmental requirements compounded by working through the arctic winter, we believe these actions are in the best interest of the company at this time," said Rick Van Nieuwenhuyse, NovaGold's president.

He did not elaborate on several key issues, including: how many employees would be laid off; how it planned to manage the gold mine during the suspension; and how long it expected the suspension to last.

Full Story at ADN

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