Story last updated at 6:37 p.m. Thursday, December 26, 2002

Turning volts into gold
NovaGold Resources reports that an additional 4 million ounces of gold was discovered at its Donlin Creek property, bringing the total recoverable deposits up to 28 million ounces and making it one of the largest gold deposits in the world.

"It's a lot of gold," said NovaGold president Rick Van Nieuwenhoyse.

According to Nieuwenhoyse, if gold prices reach $350 an ounce, the company could mine lower grades of gold deposits, leading the company to consider mining around 1 million ounces a year over two decades.

However, a major setback to the project seems to be powering the mine at its location 150 miles northeast of Bethel.

In order to extract that amount of gold, NovaGold may require nearly twice as much electricity as Fairbanks Gold Mining Inc. does for its Fort Knox location just north of Fairbanks.

A steering committee has formed to try and find a solution to the problem.

"My interest is to ensure that we do everything to make that mine a reality," said Mira Kohler, chief executive officer of Alaska Village Electric Cooperative. "I don't want to saddle it with trappings that may or may not pan out."

-- Fairbanks Daily News-Miner