Archive | Alaska Mining

U.S. officials accuse Canada of sitting on damning data on B.C. mining toxins in a transboundary river – by Bob Weber (Canadian Press/Global News – July 8, 2018)

https://globalnews.ca/

United States officials are accusing their Canadian counterparts of sitting on damning new data about toxic chemicals from southern British Columbia coal mines in water shared by both countries.

In a letter to the U.S. State Department, Americans on the International Joint Commission say Canadian members are blocking the release of information on contaminants that are many times above guideline levels. The commission was created in 1909 as a way to discuss water that crosses the U.S.-Canada border.

The B.C. dispute, brewing for decades, burst open in June when the commission’s two Canadian members refused to endorse a report on selenium in the Elk River watershed just north of the border. Continue Reading →

Critical Minerals Alaska – Cobalt – by Shane Lasley (North of 60 Mining News – June 22, 2018)

https://www.miningnewsnorth.com/

More EVs, unstable supply put battery metal on US critical minerals list

Cobalt is an essential ingredient to optimizing the performance of batteries in the growing number of electric vehicles on global highways, yet essentially none of this battery metal is mined in the United States. With at least one advanced stage exploration project in Alaska looking into the potential of producing cobalt alongside its copper, America’s 49th State could provide a domestic source for this critical metal.

In its annual report, Mineral Commodity Summaries 2018, the United States Geological Survey forecasts that the rechargeable battery sector is expected to drive the demand of cobalt higher faster than the mining sector will bring new supplies of the battery metal to market.

“As a result, the global cobalt supply was expected to remain limited in the near term,” USGS penned in the annual report. This limited supply could affect more than U.S. carmakers such as Tesla Inc. Continue Reading →

Critical Minerals Alaska – Chromite – by Shane Lasley (North of 60 Mining News – June 28, 2018)

https://www.miningnewsnorth.com/

Essential stainless-steel ingredient mined in Alaska during both World Wars

A vital ingredient in stainless steel and superalloys, chromium is considered by the United States Geological Survey as “one of the Nation’s most important strategic and critical materials.”

“Because there is no viable substitute for chromium in the production of stainless steel and because the United States has small chromium resources, there has been concern about domestic supply during every national military emergency since World War I,” the USGS explains.

Rich chromite deposits on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula were able to ease some of these concerns by providing a domestic supply of chromite, the only mineral of chromium metal, to help fill America’s increased demand for chromium during both World Wars. Continue Reading →

Alaska mineral exploration tops $100M – by Curt Freeman (North of 60 Mining News – June 28, 2018)

https://www.miningnewsnorth.com/

The summer field season is in full bloom across Alaska with programs stretching from the Brooks Range to southeastern Alaska, and from the Yukon border to southwestern Alaska. Exploration targets range from grassroots to mine-site, focused on commodities including gold, silver, lead, zinc, copper, cobalt and graphite.

For Alaska’s exploration industry, planned, announced and estimated expenditures are well over the $100 million mark for 2018. This expenditure level is well above last year’s levels and almost double the $58 million spent at the bottom of the market in 2015.

Canadian and Australian companies continue to be the source for the bulk of funds spent in Alaska in 2018, together comprising well over 80 percent of the exploration expenditures earmarked for Alaska. Continue Reading →

The Pebble mine is going nowhere. Time for Northern Dynasty to admit it.- by Mary Ann K. Johnson, Brian Kraft and Norm Van Vactor (Anchorage Daily News – June 27, 2018)

https://www.adn.com/

Mary Ann K. Johnson is a lifelong subsistence user in Bristol Bay, and a board member for the United Tribes of Bristol Bay. Brian Kraft is a pilot and owner of two Bristol Bay sport-fishing lodges. Norm Van Vactor is a Dillingham resident and the CEO of Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation.

Alaskans have much in common with our neighbors in British Columbia. Our histories are tied closely to the use and development of renewable natural resources, which form the backbone of our economies, cultures and lifestyles. We understand the importance of wise stewardship of this natural wealth.

Our home in Bristol Bay is the source of nearly half the world’s wild sockeye salmon: a wild, sustainable food supply for families all over the world. It is the economic driver of our region, and a cultural linchpin. Our lives and businesses center around the monumental pulse of the 30 million-60 million wild salmon that return here, year after year. It’s like no place else on earth. Continue Reading →

Alaska lawmakers call for alliance with other states on Canadian mining issues – by Kevin Gullufsen (Juneau Empire – May 28, 2018)

http://juneauempire.com/

10 legislators call for partnership as Montana, Washington deal with pollution from Canadian mines

A group of Alaska lawmakers wants to team up with Montana and other U.S.-Canada border states in a push to protect Southeast watersheds they say are threatened by rapid Canadian mining development.

In a letter dated April 20 and released Friday, 10 lawmakers ask Gov. Bill Walker to work with other U.S. states and the State Department to further protections for Southeast’s salmon-bearing rivers. Canadian mining development, they say, has continued to put the region’s fishing and tourism industries in peril.

At least a dozen mining projects are moving forward or are operating in the border-crossing Taku, Stikine and Unuk river watersheds, according to Salmon Beyond Borders. Alaska lacks financial protection from any harm the projects could cause to salmon habitat, the lawmakers say. Continue Reading →

Northern Dynasty Sinks Along With First Quantum Alaska Deal – by Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg News – May 25, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. plummeted Friday after the collapse of a pact with First Quantum Minerals Ltd. to finance the controversial Pebble mining project in Alaska.

The two companies were unable to reach an agreement on a proposed deal disclosed in December, Northern Dynasty said Friday in a statement. The arrangement would have given a unit of First Quantum an option to earn a 50 percent interest in Pebble in return for $150 million paid over four years to fund permitting.

The project at one of the largest copper and gold deposits has been fraught for years. Effectively banned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under President Barack Obama, shares of Northern Dynasty surged after Donald Trump’s election victory. Continue Reading →

Pebble Mine: Taking the Battle to the Board Room – Again – by Joel Reynolds (Natural Resources Defense Council – May 07, 2018)

https://www.nrdc.org/

Bristol Bay Coalition Delivers Message of Unrelenting Opposition in Meetings with First Quantum Minerals in Toronto

Sometimes really bad ideas are hard to kill – especially these days. Take, for example, the Pebble Mine, which Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) Administrator Scott Pruitt rescued from its deathbed last May after cutting a deal with the project’s CEO. And just like that this reckless project had a new lease on life – and a new pitch for potential investors.

Last week in Toronto, together with a formidable delegation of leaders from the distant Bristol Bay region of southwest Alaska, my NRDC colleague Chris Tackett and I attended the shareholders’ annual general meeting (“AGM”) of Canadian mining company First Quantum Minerals and met with its Chair and CEO.

First Quantum, which draws 84% of its revenue from copper mines in Zambia, is looking to expand its operations to the United States by bankrolling the Pebble Mine – now solely owned by Northern Dynasty Minerals, a small Canadian mining exploration company based in Vancouver. Continue Reading →

Pebble Mine Investor Again Needs Time to Finish Deal – by Stephen Lee (BNA.com – May 1, 2018)

https://www.bna.com/

The backer of an Alaska copper and gold mine project said May 1 it needs another month to finish an agreement with the mine’s owner.

Should financier First Quantum Minerals Ltd. and Pebble Mine owner Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. fail to come together, the project would be in trouble. Northern Dynasty needs First Quantum’s $150 million cash infusion to file its application for permitting and to cover its legal and consulting costs, while the Army Corps of Engineers writes its environmental impact statement.

Meanwhile, Northern Dynasty’s financial filings sketch a picture of a company operating close to the bone. The company only has roughly $50 million in cash on hand, according to a March 29 financial statement. Continue Reading →

Barrick, NovaGold project in Alaska gets key environmental approval – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – April 30, 2018)

http://www.mining.com/

Barrick Gold (TSX, NYSE:ABX) and NovaGold Resources’ (TSX, NYSE-MKT: NG) proposed gold mine in Alaska has received a long-waited final environmental clearance, granted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Canadian miners said Monday.

The Dolin project, one of the world’s largest, highest grade, known gold deposits, is expected to require a $6.7 billion investment from the two owners, which are developing in assets in a 50-50 partnership.

Located in in Southwest Alaska, the proposed mine contains 39 million ounces of gold in the measured and indicated (M&I) resource categories. Continue Reading →

Hope is only surviving camp from Upper Kenai Peninsula gold rush – by Ray Bonnell (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner – April 22, 2018)

http://www.newsminer.com/

FAIRBANKS — According to the 1915 U.S.G.S. report, “Geology and Mineral Resources of Kenai Peninsula, Alaska,” the only recorded instances of Russian gold exploration in Alaska occurred between 1848 and 1851, when Peter Doroshin, a Russian-American Company mining engineer, discovered gold in the Kenai River and spent two summers prospecting along the Russian River.

Doroshin, or his men, may have searched further afield, though. American miners in the Hope area found abandoned workings that they attributed to the Russians.

After the 1867 purchase of Alaska, prospectors began pushing north along the coast from British Columbia. By the 1880s, miners were working beach deposits along Lower Cook Inlet. In about 1888, a prospector named King (first name unknown) sojourned into the Upper Kenai Peninsula, returning two summers later with four pokes of gold. Continue Reading →

[Alaska Mining] Pogo discoveries excite exploration team – by Shane Lasley (North of 60 Mining News – April 6, 2018)

https://www.miningnewsnorth.com/

While Pogo has surpassed its original life expectancy of 10 years and 3 million ounces of gold, the air of excitement emanating from the miners, geologists and management indicates that mining is just getting started at this high-grade underground gold mine in the heart of Alaska’s Interior.

Churning out 271,273 oz of gold from roughly 950,000 tons of ore in 2017, Pogo is on pace to pour its 4-millionth ounce of gold early in 2019 and based on current estimates would have enough ore in reserve to keep the underground mine in operation into 2021.

It has been a while, however, since the reserves for Pogo have been calculated and when that does happen – slated for later this year – we will likely be looking at enough high-grade ore to feed the mill for another decade. Continue Reading →

After Mount Polley: The activists and filmmaker behind the documentary ‘Uprivers’ – by Kevin Gulufsen (Juneau Empire – April 8, 2018)

 

http://juneauempire.com/

Indigenous activists Jacinda Mack and Carrie James come from two different countries and opposite ends of rivers their livelihoods depend on. One issue unites them: concerns over under-regulation of Canadian mining projects on the U.S.-Canada border.

Mack, a Canadian from the Indigenous Xat’sull community, hails from Williams Lake, a small town near the headwaters of the Fraser River. She’s experienced environmental disaster before.

In August 2014, a tailings dam failed at Mount Polley mine, sending 847 million cubic feet of mining waste into nearby rivers, places she used to harvest subsistence foods to feed her family. Continue Reading →

The ebb and flow of mining is reflected in Eldorado Creek’s history – by Ray Bonnell (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner – February 25, 2018)

http://www.newsminer.com/

FAIRBANKS — Kantishna’s Eldorado Creek, as opposed to the 26 other Eldorado Creeks listed in the “Dictionary of Alaska Place Names,” is a 5.5-mile-long tributary of Moose Creek, located just downstream from the confluence of Moose and Eureka creeks.

Mined since the short-lived 1905-06 Kantishna gold rush, Eldorado Creek’s mining history is a microcosm of the ebb and flow of mineral development in the Kantishna area.

During the brief six months the rush lasted, lode deposits of silver were discovered along Eldorado Creek, as well as a stibnite deposit (an ore of antimony) on Slate Creek, an Eldorado Creek tributary near its headwaters. Continue Reading →

Canada ‘needs to act and act very soon’ on polluting mine, say Alaska politicians – by Dave Croft (CBC News North – February 6, 2018)

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

Alaska politicians on trip to Ottawa ask for progress on Tulsequah Chief mine cleanup

Senior Alaskan politicians say U.S. federal and state agencies are ramping up their efforts to force B.C. to clean up the abandoned Tulsequah Chief mine, about 80 kilometres south of Atlin.

Dan Sullivan, one of Alaska’s two U.S. senators, and the state’s Lt.-Gov. Byron Mallot were in Ottawa Monday for a series of meetings with Canadian officials, including federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna. Mallot said there will be more meetings on transboundary issues in April.

“Hopefully this will continue to create the kind of focus on the Tulsequah Chief mine that we raised in the last two years,” said Mallot. “Recognizing that the mine had been spewing water — waste water — for almost half a century, and we’ve got this focused at a level now that has never been focused on before,” he said. Continue Reading →