Biden set to block Ambler mining road in Alaska wilderness – by Adam Federman (Politico.com – April 16, 2024)

https://www.politico.com/

The move to preserve the preserve the pristine wilderness has been sought by Alaskan tribes, but would keep the critical minerals in the region from being mined.

The Biden administration is preparing to reject a controversial road-building project needed to mine major copper and zinc deposits in the remote Alaska wilderness, a move sought by native tribes, but one that would keep critical minerals essential for the U.S. clean energy transition out of reach.

In a final environmental analysis due out later this week, the Interior Department is expected to issue a recommendation that would effectively kill the Ambler Road project in its current form, according to two people with knowledge on the decision who were granted anonymity because it was not yet public. A document explaining the administration’s stance is due 90 days after publication of the environmental impact statement.

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[B.C. Mining] ‘To us, that border doesn’t exist’ – by Nathan Venderklippe (Globe and Mail – April 19, 2024)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Alaska Indigenous groups want a say in B.C. mining projects they fear could hurt their livelihoods. A border stands in the way – but they hope a Canadian court ruling strengthens the case for ignoring it

Eulachon grease meets the tongue with a marine burn, a bracing tang extracted by fermenting great numbers of the smelt-like fish, then simmering and breaking them apart. The process liberates the fish’s oil, which historically formed a kind of currency among the Indigenous nations of the Pacific Northwest, who traded it as a valuable source of fat.

Today, those still able to find it in southeast Alaska apply it as a condiment to boiled potatoes, herring eggs or kajumps, a fish soup. “That’s real gold there,” Louie Wagner says, as he eyes a jar of the grease he keeps frozen, its contents a light tawny yellow. “Gold you can eat.”

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Alaska’s governor calls on Biden to update mine permit process – by Ernest Scheyder and Georgina McCartney (Finance Yahoo/Reuters – March 20, 2024)

https://finance.yahoo.com/

HOUSTON, March 20 (Reuters) – Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy called on President Joe Biden on Wednesday to update and streamline the U.S. mine permitting process in order to boost domestic production of critical minerals and reduce dependence on foreign nations.

The push echoes calls from the mining industry for clarity on how permits can be obtained for mines that produce copper, lithium and other energy transition minerals. Executives have long complained the U.S. process can be complex, expensive and opaque due in part to a federal mining law enacted in 1872.

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Alaska mine value tops $4 billion in 2023 – by Shane Lasley (North of 60 Mining News – March 1, 2024)

https://www.miningnewsnorth.com/

At a value of $1.5 billion, zinc held onto its throne as the most valuable metal produced in Alaska during 2023. With production forecasts and price trends headed in opposite directions for zinc and gold, however, the gleaming precious metal that drew fortune-seekers North at the turn of the 20th century could soon regain the crown as the most valued metal produced in the 49th State.

According to preliminary calculations completed by Alaska’s Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys (DGGS), the total value of metals produced at Alaska mines was approximately $3.76 billion during 2023. When you include sand and gravel mining for the construction sector, that value bumps up to around $4.1 billion, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

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Pebble mine developer sues EPA over Alaska mine veto – by Clark Mindock (Reuters – March 18, 2024)

https://www.reuters.com/

March 18 (Reuters) – Northern Dynasty Minerals, the developer of the proposed Pebble copper and gold mine in southwest Alaska, has sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency seeking to overturn the agency’s veto of the project.

The developer on Friday filed a lawsuit in federal court in Anchorage challenging the EPA’s 2023 final determination prohibiting the discharge of mining waste in the state’s Bristol Bay over concerns the materials would degrade the watershed and harm important fishing ecosystems.

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B.C.’s multimillion-dollar mining problem – by Francesca Fionda, Jeffery Jones and Chen Wang (Globe and Mail/The Narwhal – February 24, 2024)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

The true cost of cleaning up mine pollution in B.C. is growing, a Globe and Mail-Narwhal investigation has found – and if disaster strikes, taxpayers could be stuck with an even bigger bill

When John Morris Sr. is asked where the sacred sites on the Taku River are, his answer comes easily. “This whole place is sacred,” the 84-year-old Elder says. In the spring, all five species of North American salmon fight the current to spawn. In the summer, bright orange salmon berries speckle the landscape.

Mr. Morris, a member of the Douglas Indian Association in southeast Alaska, said his grandparents, aunt, uncle and parents always reminded him that everything they needed was provided by the land there.

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Alaskan tribes seek historic legal recognition from B.C. gov’t for review of mining project – by Caitrin Pilkington (CBC News Canada North – February 07, 2024)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/

Coalition wants to be part of environmental review for Eskay Creek gold mine

An Alaska-based coalition of Indigenous governments has applied to be part of a B.C. environmental review process. Representatives of the Southeast Alaska Indigenous Transboundary Commission say they’re concerned about the environmental impacts of a proposed project that would see work resume at Eskay Creek, a former open-pit gold mine. The mine, which mining company Skeena Resources hopes to revive, lies about 85 kilometres northwest of Stewart, B.C.

Skeena’s proposal would see workers make use of some of the old mine’s existing facilities, extracting up to three million tonnes of gold and silver ore per year. The proposed mine would be in operation for nine years.

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Debate over Pebble mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region moves to dueling Supreme Court briefs – by Yereth Rosen (Alaska Beacon – November 13, 2023)

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The company seeking to develop the controversial copper mine is sticking to its plans, despite federal action that barred permitting for the project

The company trying to build a huge copper and gold mine in the salmon-rich Bristol Bay will keep fighting for the project, despite a decision by the federal government to keep the proposed development site off-limits to large-scale metals mining.

John Shively, chief executive officer of the Pebble Limited Partnership, made that vow in a presentation at the Alaska Miners Association annual convention in Anchorage. He said the Pebble mine had the potential to transform the economy and improve lives in the rural Bristol Bay region, just as he said the Red Dog Mine, one of the world’s biggest zinc producers, has done in Northwest Alaska.

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OPINION: Canada is endangering our traditional way of life — and Sen. Murkowski made sure the president knows – by Richard Chalyee Éesh Peterson (Achorage Daily News – November 4, 2023)

https://www.adn.com

Richard Chalyee Éesh Peterson is the president of the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, the largest sovereign tribe in Alaska, representing more than 37,000 Tlingit and Haida citizens worldwide.

The transboundary T’aakū (Taku), Shtax’héen (Stikine) and Joonáx (Unuk) rivers have provided for Indigenous peoples for thousands of years. These rivers are economic powerhouses for Southeast Alaska’s coastal communities.

Today, however, the headwaters of these sacred rivers are the site of a modern-day gold rush with investors aiming to develop poorly regulated gold mines and failure-prone toxic mine waste dams in British Columbia (B.C.).

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Alaska Energy Metals stock rises on drill results at Nikolai nickel project – by Staff (Mining.com – October 30, 2023)

https://www.mining.com/

Alaska Energy Metals’ (TSXV: AEMC) stock rose on Monday after releasing results for two additional diamond drill holes from its 2023 exploration program at its 100% owned Nikolai nickel project.

The Nikolai project is possible host to disseminated nickel-copper-cobalt-PGE mineralization analogous to the Crawford deposit in Canada and the Norilsk mine in Russia, according to the company’s website.

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

https://www.mining.com/

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.

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[Alaska] Direct Payment Update: Americans in One State to Get $3,000 Check – by Jon Jackson (Newsweek.com – August 15, 2023)

https://www.newsweek.com/

Some residents of Alaska will soon receive payments of up to $3,284 as a result of oil and gas revenues from 2022. These residents will be paid from Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend. Revenue the state generates from its energy resources goes into the PFD. Created in 1976 to invest oil proceeds for future generations, the Permanent Fund is managed by a state-owned corporation.

Alaska began sending out 2022 payments from the state’s PFD last fall and recently disbursed a portion in July. The latest batch of residents to be paid are scheduled to receive their checks Thursday.

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Alaskans Receive Record Dividends of $3,284 – by Maryalene LaPonsie (Forbes Magazine – November 10, 2022)

https://www.forbes.com/advisor/

Alaska residents have been receiving annual dividend payments from the state’s Permanent Fund for 41 years, but the 2022 payout is one of the largest in history. Every resident received $3,284 this year, with most payments issued in September and October.

Permanent Fund Dividends (PFD), are larger than normal thanks in part to the addition of a $662 energy relief payment. Rather than send out a separate payment, as other states have done, Alaska rolled the energy relief payment into this year’s PFD payout.

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Northern Dynasty updates Pebble PEA, adds southern access route – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – September 6, 2023)

https://www.mining.com/

Northern Dynasty Minerals (TSX: NDM)(NYSE: NAK) published on Wednesday an updated preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for its Pebble copper project, which includes an infrastructure plan for a “southern route” access to the proposed mine in Alaska.

The Canadian miner said the independent technical report reviews cost and price estimates to reflect current economic volatility, providing production, financial and cost estimates for a proposed 20-year, 180,000 tonnes per day open pit operation.

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COMMENTARY: It’s time for U.S. government to hold Canada accountable for transboundary river impacts in Alaska – by Brenda Schwartz-Yeager (Alaska Beacon – August 16, 2023)

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Two years ago this fall, I testified at a Wrangell Borough Assembly meeting in support of yet another resolution calling on the U.S. federal government to be firm with British Columbia and Canada in protecting the Stikine River, as well as the Taku and Unuk rivers.

These transboundary rivers, the lifeblood of Southeast Alaska, are threatened by the more than 30 B.C. gold mines in some phase of development just over the border. Over a dozen of them are located within the Stikine-Iskut watershed.

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