Northwest Mining Investor Report

Northwest Mining Investor Report

December 06, 2007 09:00 ET

Northwest Mining Investor Report-Redcorp Ventures' Tulsequah Chief Mine Hoverbarge Plan Receives Unfavorable Reviews: Permitting Forecasts Dubious

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 6, 2007) -

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Redcorp's hoverbarge proposal for its Tulsequah Chief mine recently ran into heavy criticisms. These unfavorable reviews come as Redcorp is preparing permit applications to Alaska for its hoverbarge plan and as the harmonized British Columbia/Canadian federal government review is stalled in some key areas. Rough sailing may be ahead for the hoverbarge and Redcorp's recently revised permitting schedule may well be unrealistic.


On October 26 the United Fishermen of Alaska, Alaska's largest commercial fishing group, passed the following motion: "UFA opposes the Tulsequah Chief Mine transportation plan until such time that the issues raised by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game have been resolved in favor of protection of the fishery resource and associated habitat."


The British Columbia public comment period on the barge proposal wrapped up in mid-October. Formal comments to the BC Environmental Assessment Office in early October from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, US Department of Interior and Taku River Tlingit First Nation found serious flaws in Redcorp's hoverbarge proposal.


Recent predictions made by Redcorp Ventures may again prove to be overly optimistic.

In a November 28 Project Update Redcorp stated, "the company anticipates that the (Alaska) public comment period and coastal plan consistency review will be completed in January, 2008." The coastal plan review is normally at least a 50-day process, which alone would push completion of a review starting in mid-December into February. Given the upcoming holidays and the possibility that Alaska will "stop the clock" and ask for more information from Redcorp, the completion of permitting could drag out considerably longer."

In its Third Quarter Interim Highlights from November 14, 2007 Redcorp states, "We have one final environmental assessment application in progress...and we anticipate that the formal process will conclude in January 2008." This statement is misleading and incomplete as two Alaska permits, as well as approvals from the Canadian federal government and British Columbia government, are needed for the hoverbarge.

Redcorp's November 28 Project Update no longer speaks about January completion and instead says the process "is underway and expected to be completed early in the New Year."


In a January 29, 2007 press release Redcorp stated that construction of the hoverbarge and amphitrac would occur "February-June 2007". It wasn't until June 4, 2007 that a Redcorp press release announced "that the Company has initiated detailed design and construction of the Amphitrac. The first units are anticipated to be operational by December of this year." The latest information from the Nov. 28 Update now says "Redfern has also executed construction contracts for the first of two Air Cushion Barges ("ACB") and the construction of the Amphitrac tow vehicle...Delivery for both is anticipated in Q1, 2008."

Redcorp has not commented publicly about the impacts of this delay of at least seven months from their January press release, but other disclosures by them suggest the impacts could be significant. Redfern's August 2007 Project Description Volume 1 states "A year-round access route must be developed by the winter of 2007/08 to support construction activities at the Tulsequah Chief mine."

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