CIRI Executes Lease for Exploration of Johnson Tract Mineral Deposit

The Johnson Tract camp in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. Photo courtesy of Constantine Metal Resources.

On May 21, CIRI entered into a lease agreement with Constantine Metal Resources Ltd., a Canadian mineral exploration company that is forming HighGold Mining Inc. to consolidate its gold properties into a single entity. The lease authorizes exploration of a gold- and zinc-rich deposit in a private inholding within Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, located about 100 miles southwest of Anchorage.

Known as the Johnson Tract, the property was conveyed to CIRI under the terms of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 and the Cook Inlet Land Exchange of 1976. As part of its land selection, CIRI was granted easements mutually agreed upon with the National Park Service for mineral development.

The two companies signed a 10-year lease with a renewal option, which includes annual and escalating lease payments to CIRI until production is achieved, all of which are at commercially competitive rates. Upon completion of a feasibility study and a decision to proceed with the project, CIRI has the option of investing in the project as a partner and receiving net smelter return royalties on gold and base metals.

“Johnson Tract is an exceptional gold asset, and we are excited about the chance to responsibly explore and advance the project for the mutual benefit of CIRI and Constantine in a manner consistent with CIRI’s cultural values,” Constantine President and CEO Garfield MacVeigh said in a statement.

“CIRI is committed to development projects that deliver economic benefits to our shareholders while respecting and preserving the land,” said CIRI President and CEO Sophie Minich. “As the Johnson Tract project moves forward, we look forward to continuing our strong relationship with Constantine.”

Constantine is planning a small helicopter-supported exploration program late this summer, which will include drilling, prospecting and additional rehabilitation of the 20-year-old fly-in camp. For more information, visit