The company that operates the Red Dog zinc mine in Northwest Alaska is seeking state and federal approval for a multi-year exploration plan in the area that could one day lead to a large expansion of its operations.
Teck American, a subsidiary of Teck Resources in Canada, has applied with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources to build a 10-mile exploration road, plus bridges and related facilities, the agency said in a public notice last week. The road would extend from the mine to two large new prospects to the north, known as Aktigiruq and Anarraaq.
The Aktigiruq prospect could be one of the largest undeveloped zinc deposits in the world, comparable in size to the valuable Red Dog mine that has already operated more than 30 years, according to a 2020 report from the state’s geological survey division.
The prospects are located on state land, and are seen as a way to extend some of the benefits of Red Dog to the region, an economic powerhouse with revenues that support the borough and Alaska Native corporations and villages.