Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Canadian Mining Firm Builds Fairbanks Presence
A firm has lined up recognizable players as it drafts proposals for a major gold mine north of Fairbanks.
FAIRBANKS — A firm has lined up recognizable players as it drafts proposals for a major gold mine north of Fairbanks.
International Tower Hill Mines, the company behind the Livengood gold project, has this year added Tom Irwin and Rick Solie to its troupe of managers. Running the show as project manager is Karl Hanneman, previously an executive at the Pogo Gold Mine east of town.
The additions, as the firm put it when announcing Solie’s hiring early this summer, expand its “Fairbanks development team” to help meet a slate of development goals. The firm said it is focused on “rapid exploration and development” at the Livengood site, which sits 70 miles northwest of Fairbanks.
It’s a proposal that keeps expanding in scope. The firm said in June that the prior winter exploration season revealed more higher-grade gold than expected.
Managers said the finds to date make Livengood “one of the largest new gold discoveries in North America” and said directors had approved a $70 million annual budget to keep exploring the site.
Irwin, who became International Tower Hill’s project construction manager in March, was state resource commissioner under three governors until his split from Gov. Sean Parnell’s administration late last year. He also has held a central role in the development of the Fort Knox Mine, working as general manager for two years.
Solie, ITH’s government and community relations manager, held similar positions with the oil company ConocoPhillips. He most recently worked in Anchorage with the now-defunct Denali pipeline proposal, a joint venture pursued by BP and ConocoPhillips.
Solie also is a former member and one-time presiding officer of the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly. For a year ending in late 2008, he was chairman of the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce.
ITH, a Vancouver-based firm, also employs Fairbanks native Denise Hertzog as an environmental manager, resident Chris Puchner as its top geologist and Debbie Evans as controller.
Hanneman said in a June statement that the addition of Solie tapped “deep Alaska roots to help us develop the open communication with our state and local government and regional communities that will be critical to our mutual success.”
Contact staff writer Christopher Eshleman at 459-7582.