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CONTINENTAL PACIFIC RESOURCES INC. MARINE TRANSPORTATION STUDY CONFIRMS COMMERCIAL SHIPPING POTENTIAL OF CANADA'S MOST NORTHERN SEAS

 VANCOUVER, British Columbia, March 2 /PRNewswire/ -- On behalf of a joint industry/government consortium, Canarctic Shipping Company Limited has completed a major study which concluded that commercial shipping is possible at least five months a year in and out of the Coronation Gulf region.
 Coronation Gulf is located in Canada's central high Arctic, between Victoria Island and the mainland. Heavy ice conditions have restricted shipping to the gulf, limiting the development of an area with rich mineral potential.
 Canarctic spent a year studying both a eastern route (which could lead to Europe) and a western route (which could lead to the Far East). Historical data on ice conditions over the past 17 years were assessed and considered in light of recent advances in ice navigation techniques and ice-breaking vessel design.
 The study examined several scenarios based on building one or two new ships, and the upgrading of an existing vessel to proposed Canadian Arctic Class standards. While the study does not preclude the access of existing vessels into Coronation Gulf, it does recommend the building of one or two ships to proposed Canadian Arctic Class standards, in order to guarantee the transport of 400,000 tonnes annually from the area.
 This study will aid Minnova Inc. which is currently studying the feasibility of production from its Izok Project located approximately 200 miles south of the Coronation Gulf. The potential of several other known mineral deposits in the area would be considerably enhanced if reliable shipping were established.
 Remote settlements in the Coronation Gulf would also benefit from seaborne transportation. The costs of delivering fuel and cargo to them would be less that it currently is by barging down the MacKenzie River.
 The study recommends further inquiry into two important issues:
 1) The route to Coronation Gulf is poorly charted, therefore more hydrographic data must be obtained to confirm deep water routes. The consortium urge the Canadian Hydrographic Service and Canadian Coast Guard to complete the surveys and to deploy navigational aids within the next four years.
 2) Year-round work must be found for the proposed vessels to reduce the cost of shipping from Coronation Gulf and to defray the high capital cost of Arctic Classed ships. Canarctic believes that four or five years from now such employment could be found because the existing world's fleet of such vessels is limited and aging. New Arctic Classed cargo vessels would facilitate developments wherever difficult sea ice conditions are found.
 Canarctic's study also considered a broad range of environmental issues. These included aboriginal land use, disruption of the ice field by vessels, the impact accidents, and indigenous wildlife populations.
 This study was supported by the Government of the Northwest Territories, the federal Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Echo Bay Mines Ltd., Minnova Inc., Aber Resources Ltd., Continental Pacific Resources Inc., Homestake Canada Ltd., BHP Minerals Canada Ltd., and Norterra.
 Canarctic has operated the M.V. Arctic, the highest Arctic classed cargo vessel in the world, since 1978.
 -0- 3/2/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: For more information or a copy of the study's executive summary contact Captain Andrew Taylor or Martin Luce at Canarctic, 150 Metcalfe Street, 19th Floor, P.O. Box 39, Ottawa, Ontario K2P 1P1./
 /CONTACT: Captain Andrew Taylor or Martin Luce, both of Canarctic, 613-234-8414, or fax, 613-234-9747/


CO: Continental Pacific Resources Inc. ST: British Columbia IN: MAR SU:

LD-TM -- NY003 -- 1760 03/02/93 08:31 EST
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Date:Mar 2, 1993
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