US DOI draft study poses further setback for Alaska’s Ambler road project – by Staff ( – October 16, 2023)

The proposed 211-mile transportation corridor for accessing untouched mineral deposits in northwestern Alaska, also known as the Ambler road project, will likely cause harm to wildlife and disruptions to local communities, according to the latest environmental review by the Biden administration.

In a draft supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) released on Friday, the U.S. Department of the Interior found that as many as 66 communities whose subsistence-style living activities could be affected. Nearly half of those could face significant impacts because of the road, the agency added.

“Subsistence use would be altered by the presence of a road, both because a road would affect wildlife behavior and because it would bisect travel routes used by hunters and affect their access to subsistence use areas,” the report stated.

According to a 2018 feasibility study, the Upper Kobuk mineral projects (UKMP) in the Ambler mining district could produce 159 million lb. of copper annually over a 12-year life span, as well as 199 million lb. of zinc, 33 million lb. of lead, 3.3 million oz. of silver and 30,600 oz. of gold.

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