State lawmakers join call to feds to intervene in Canadian mining upriver of Alaska – by Sage Smiley (Alaska Public Radio – March 16, 2023)


Southeast Alaska lawmakers are joining tribal and municipal governments, calling on the federal government to stop – at least temporarily – British Columbia’s mining activities in transboundary watersheds.

Southeast Alaska’s major river systems – the Taku, Unuk and Stikine – originate in British Columbia. Those transboundary watersheds are peppered with mineral claims, active mines and shuttered former mining operations.

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Tribes, Fishermen, Businesses, Conservation Groups Respond to New Potential Mineral Exploration in Bristol Bay Watershed – by United Tribes of Bristol Bay (Alaska Native News – March 8, 2023)

ANCHORAGE, AK — Bristol Bay Tribes, fishermen, businesses and allies again reiterated their opposition to mining that jeopardizes Bristol Bay’s cultures and economies in response to the latest mineral exploration efforts in the region.

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on February 28 issued a public notice of an application from Stuy Mines LLC for mineral exploration activities along Kaskanak Creek in the Bristol Bay watershed, located southwest of the Pebble deposit. The public notice from the DNR on this proposal for mining exploration (which was submitted in June 2022) in the watershed triggered a two-week public comment period ending March 14.

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Deal over access to ore dock in Skagway, Alaska, ‘critical’ to Yukon, premier says (CBC News North – March 8, 2023)

Yukon Premier Ranj Pillai is calling a potential new deal that would secure access to the ore dock in Skagway, Alaska, “very, very good news for Yukon.” “I’m very proud. I mean, this is a great example of our government taking on something … that’s very critical to the Yukon and to Canada and having the capacity, I guess I would say, to come up with a solution and get this done.”

Skagway recently accepted the terms of the agreement that would see the Yukon government put more than $17 million US toward upgrading one of the town’s docks. For the Yukon, it’s a vital facility for companies to be able to ship ore mined in the territory.

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This road could save the planet — and carve up Alaskan wilderness – by David Wolman (Bloomberg News – February 27, 2023)

The remote Ambler Mining District contains massive lodes of minerals essential to cleantech, but extracting them will likely make an ecological mess.

Coldfoot, Alaska, is a lone truck stop-cafe-bar-motel 60 miles north of the Arctic Circle. It’s the last spot for northbound semis to gas up on their way to Prudhoe Bay and a place where camo-clad hunters smelling to high hell eat stacks of burgers and swap stories while dead moose lie in pickups parked outside.

On one of Coldfoot’s brisk September mornings, a rumble grows into steady thunder. Man-made wind sends grit whipping across the dirt driveway where someone, a few weeks earlier, placed a wooden sign with red-stenciled letters: “Helicopter Parking Only.”

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A Mine That Threatened Alaskan Salmon May Be No More – by Teresa Nowakowski (Smithsonian Magazine – February 7, 2023)

A proposed mine project in Alaska may have been dealt its final blow. Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) effectively vetoed the project, citing its potential harm to salmon fisheries in the state’s Bristol Bay watershed.

Called Pebble Mine, the proposed development included a mile-wide open-pit mine, a power plant, a gas pipeline, access roads and a port to take advantage of gold and copper deposits thought to be worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

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Alaska mine production tops $4.5 billion – by Shane Lasley (North of 60 Mining News – February 6, 2023)

More gold, strong zinc prices helped push value higher; critical minerals could add a boost moving forward.

Alaska mines produced approximately $4.51 billion worth of nonfuel minerals last year, a 16% increase over the $3.89 billion in 2021, and an impressive 42.7% jump over the $3.16 billion of mined products during 2020, according to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Mineral Commodity Summaries 2023 report.

The rise in Alaska mine production value is largely due to increased zinc and gold production, along with strong zinc prices during 2022.

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Alaska gold, copper mine blocked over environmental worries – by Becky Bohrer and Patrick Whittle (Associated Press – February 1, 2023)

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency took an unusually strong step Tuesday and blocked a proposed mine heralded by backers as the most significant undeveloped copper and gold resource in the world because of concerns about its environmental impact on a rich Alaska aquatic ecosystem that supports the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery.

The move, cheered by Alaska Native tribes and environmentalists and condemned by some state officials and mining interests, deals a heavy blow to the proposed Pebble Mine. The intended site is in a remote area of southwest Alaska’s Bristol Bay region, about 200 miles (322 kilometers) southwest of Anchorage.

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Alaska’s EPA Recommends Further Protection For Bristol Bay From Pebble Mine – by Chris Cocoles (Alaska Sporting Journal – January 9, 2023)

Alaska Sporting Journal

Calling it the “the third step in (a) four-step Clean Water Act Section 404(c) review process,” the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 10 announced a recommendation to restrict mining use in Bristol Bay watersheds.

That Dec. 1 news was welcome relief in one of the world’s last great salmon spawning waters, where fishermen and locals are pushing to permanently protect the region’s pristine rivers from projects like the Pebble Mine.

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EV Mineral Bonanza on Alaska Tribal Land Turns on Disputed Road – by Bobby Magill (Bloomberg Law – November 7, 2022)

Bornite Camp is beyond all the roads in North America, on the southern edge of the massive Brooks Range. It’s home to grizzly bears, and the caribou, moose, and salmon essential to the survival of Alaska Natives who live off the land.

The only way in is by bush plane. If the weather goes bad, there’s no telling when you might get out. Yet in early autumn this tent city above the Arctic Circle—where satellite internet is spotty, bear encounters are expected, and visits to family are rare—is bustling with workers.

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Eerie vision of Far North ghost towns – by A.J. Roan (North of 60 Mining News – October 7, 2022)

Places that were once filled with life have all but disappeared, leaving behind remnants of homes that are all but forgotten

For this special spooky edition, North of 60 Mining News is revisiting some of the most bizarre and disturbing ghost towns in its northern coverage area. From one of the most haunted places in Alaska to a practically unknown trading post in Nunavut, enjoy this eerie account of places that once thrived but are now all but forgotten with nary the skeleton of infrastructure to prove its existence.

Let us peer into the oftentimes short-lived bastions of civilization that, for numerous reasons, could not stand the test of time and are only a memory of a bygone life.

Alaska: Dyea

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Green bananas, mining risks, and time – by Curt Freeman (North of 60 Mining News – August 5, 2022)

Noted Alaskan prospector Rudy Vetter once told me, “At my age, I don’t even buy green bananas anymore.” I heard this sage remark during a mineral property lease negotiation after I offered Mr. Vetter a production royalty, rather than the cold, hard cash he wanted.

Mr. Vetter was in his 80s at the time and clearly knew his own investment risk timeline. He also clearly knew that Alaskan mines require a number of years to move from discovery to production. So not surprisingly, as far as Rudy was concerned, the production royalty idea was D.O.A.

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Despite setbacks, Pebble Mine receives new investment of $12 million – by Katherine Moncure ( – August 14, 2022)

In late July, Northern Dynasty Minerals received $12 million from a new, unnamed investor. This would seem to be an unusual time for a big investment, since the proposed Pebble Mine has faced significant setbacks recently.

In May, the EPA issued a proposed determination to prohibit the discharge of mining materials in the waters around the Pebble deposit – a decision that would effectively kill the project if it stands – and the Army Corps of Engineers’ denied Pebble’s permit in 2020. Pebble and Gov. Dunleavy are fighting to have that permit denial reversed.

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US not adequately planning for raw materials needed to fuel policy initiatives – Pebble developer – by Darren Parker ( – July 19, 2022)

“Pebble is the largest undeveloped copper deposit in the world and
the proposed Pebble mine needs to be part of this solution, instead
of being portrayed as part of the problem by misguided environmental
activists who do not have a credible plan for reaching net-zero,”
Thiessen added.

Northern Dynasty, the company behind the controversial Pebble copper project, in Alaska, has urged politicians, environmental activists and the public to pay attention to concerns raised by the mining industry about a looming copper supply gap.

Commenting on a recent report by S&P Global, entitled ‘The Future of Copper: Will the looming supply gap short-circuit the energy transition?’, Northern Dynasty CEO Ron Thiessen said the conclusions were consistent with comments and concerns previously raised by the company and other key mining industry companies and organisations.

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Operator of Red Dog zinc mine in Northwest Alaska advances plans that could lead to large expansion – by Alex DeMarban (Anchorage Daily News – June 16, 2022)

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.

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There is something wrong, very wrong – by J.P. Tangen (North of 60 Mining News – June 3, 2022)

Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency, citing section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act, announced its intention to prohibit the use of the Bristol Bay watershed for discharging dredged or fill material from the Pebble Project. Both of our Senators issued statements giving qualified support for the proposed decision.

Senator Murkowski, however, took the position that she has “never supported a blanket, preemptive approach for any project” recognizing “that this could be used as a precedent to target resource development projects across our state.”

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