JUNEAU, Alaska -

Sealaska Corp. says it plans to restart its mineral exploration program on Prince of Wales Island.

The Juneau-based regional Native corporation had halted the program in 2000 after a steep decline of metal prices.

The Juneau Empire says Sealaska, however, continued to conduct small-scale mineral assessments on its POW lands.

Sealaska's executive vice president Rick Harris says stronger prices and progress made on Niblack and Bokan mines on the island helped the corporation decide to restart the program.

New Sealaska minerals manager Steve Buckley says the corporation is planning a community outreach to address concerns that could include what the impacts of the program could be.

Buckley says Sealaska is aware of copper, lead, silver, and zinc deposits, as well as the potential for rare earth elements.