International Tower Hill Recognizes Alaska Progress Made Towards Lowering Energy Costs for Alaskans
Vancouver, B.C., International Tower Hill Mines Ltd. (“ITH” or the “Company”) - (TSX: ITH, NYSE-A: THM, Frankfurt: IW9) is pleased to inform investors that the State of Alaska has reached a landmark settlement with major oil producers BP PLC, Exxon Mobil Corp. and ConocoPhillips for the study of a major liquefied natural gas pipeline at the Point Thompson gas field on the North Slope of Alaska’s northernmost coast. A major gas pipeline in the State would have the potential to significantly reduce power costs in Alaska and positively impact the economics for the Company’s 100% controlled Livengood Gold Project located near Fairbanks, Alaska.
Announced on Friday, March 30, 2012, the deal between the State and the oil giants ends three decades of dispute at Point Thomson, a large oil and gas field located 60 miles east of Prudhoe Bay. This is a critical step to a gas pipeline, long-sought by Alaskans as a way to shore up revenues amid declining oil production, create jobs and provide a reliable source of energy. The new deal incentivizes the oil producers to begin development of the gas and finding markets so that a pipeline can be built.
“This settlement is a huge step in the right direction for the development of affordable energy in the State of Alaska for both residents and businesses,” stated James Komadina, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. “This is also an extremely positive development for the Livengood Gold Project as energy costs account for more than 25% of our anticipated overall production costs. The construction of a new LNG pipeline has the potential to reduce our energy costs by a significant margin, making our project much more robust economically.”
The Point Thomson gas field holds an estimated 8 to 9 trillion cubic feet of gas, or approximately one fourth of the total 35 billion cubic feet of gas in the North Slope, which contains approximately one-eighth of US total reserves. Currently, almost 90 per cent of Alaska’s gas output, which is produced as part of oil production, is reinjected into the field because there currently is no way to bring the gas to market. Exxon, BP and Conoco have yet to announce the next steps for the plan, which is expected to include a large gas pipeline to Alaska’s southern coast and a plant to liquefy gas for export. The proposal, which could cost an estimated $40 - $50 Billion and take five to 10 years to develop, still has to clear many commercial and regulatory hurdles.
About International Tower Hill Mines Ltd.
International Tower Hill Mines Ltd. controls a 100% interest in the world-class Livengood Gold Project accessible by paved highway 70 miles north of Fairbanks, Alaska. In 2012 ITH is focused on the rapid advancement of the Livengood project into a compelling potential development scenario while it continues to expand its current resource and explore its 145 km2 district for new deposits.