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Searching for Gold in the Hills by Helicopter

by Lorien Nettleton ~ April 6th, 2012

A geotechnical company and its contractors are making helicopter flights from Talkeetna this month searching for gold.

Alaska Earth Sciences is conducting airborne surveys over two sections of state lands near Stephen Lakes, northwest of Talkeetna and south of the Denali Highway near the Susitna River.  Previous USGS areal surveys have suggested the area may be of mineral interest. Alaska Earth Sciences has contracted with a company to conduct surveys whereby a low-flying helicopter suspends a large, 55-foot diameter hooped instrument 150 above the ground to sense mineral composition. It is the first step in mineral exploration, and should any results look promising, AES will follow up with ground sampling next year or thereafter.

The Helicopters are prohibited from flying over residential areas. during the first few weeks of exploration, the helicopter crew will be based out of Gracious House on the Denali Highway near the Susitna River crossing. Once the crew begins surveying the southern block, also north-east of the Susitna river, they will be based out of Talkeetna.

Michelle Johnson from Alaska Earth Sciences says approximately one in 10-thousand surveys like these result in mineral resource development.

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