Archive | Alaska Mining

Canada As Ugly Neighbor: Mines in B.C. Would Devastate Alaskan Tribes – by Ramin Pejan (Earth Justice.org – December 7, 2018)

https://earthjustice.org/

Southeast Alaskan Tribes have brought a human rights petition against Canada to protect the fish at the center of their cultures.

Mining operations in Canada are threatening to destroy the way of life of Southeast Alaskan Tribes who were never consulted about the mines by the governments of Canada or British Columbia.

The Tribes have depended for millennia upon the pristine watersheds of the Taku, Stikine, and Unuk rivers. These waters flow through varied and wild landscapes from British Columbia through Alaska and are teeming with salmon and eulachon.

The mines – two of which are operating and four that are proposed – endanger downstream fish populations through the release of toxic mine waste and acidic waters. Fish are fundamental to the Tribes’ cultural practices and livelihoods, making the pollution a violation of the Tribes’ human rights to culture and an adequate means of subsistence. Continue Reading →

B.C. issues request for proposal to clean up acidic Tulsequah Chief mine – by Gordon Hoekstra (Vancouver Sun – December 2, 2018)

https://vancouversun.com/

Underground copper mine that operated in the 1950s has faced criticism from First Nations, environmentalists and the Alaskan government.

The B.C. government has taken a preliminary step to clean up the bankrupt Tulsequah Chief copper mine that has leaked acid-laced run-off for decades. Last month, the B.C. government put out a request for proposal to remediate the mine, located in the extreme northwest corner of the province near the Alaskan border. The deadline for proposals was Nov. 29.

The request was issued after remediation plans put forward by Chieftain Metals’ primary secured creditor, West Face Capital, did not satisfy the B.C. Ministry of Mines. If a cleanup proposal is chosen, a final report that includes site-hazard assessment, remediation methods, closure steps and costs is due by Sep. 30, 2019.

The acid run-off from the mine into the Taku River has been a long-standing sore point for B.C. and Alaskan First Nations and environmentalists, and the Alaskan government. “The B.C. government has taken a first step, but there’s still a lot that has to happen before the mine gets cleaned up,” Chris Zimmer, Alaska campaign director for Rivers Without Borders, said. Continue Reading →

British Columbia seeks bids to remidate Tulsequah Chief mine – by Elwood Brehmer (Alaska Journal of Commerce – November 28, 2018)

http://www.alaskajournal.com/

British Columbia mining regulators have taken the first step toward paying to clean up an abandoned mine that has been leaking acid runoff into Alaska waters for decades.

The British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources issued a request for proposals Nov. 6 soliciting bids to remediate the Tulsequah Chief mine located in the Taku River drainage about 10 miles upstream from the Alaska-British Columbia border.

State officials contend the multi-metal mine that operated for just six years has been leaking acid wastewater into the Tulsequah River, which feeds the Taku, since it was closed in 1957. The Taku River empties into the Pacific near Juneau and is one of the largest salmon-bearing rivers in Southeast Alaska. Continue Reading →

A pivotal day for Alaska’s mining sector (Mining News North – November 9, 2018)

https://www.miningnewsnorth.com/

Alaska election outcome opens Alaska for mining business again

DENA’INA CENTER, ANCHORAGE: Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018 likely marks a crucial turning point for Alaska’s mining industry. As the state’s mining community gathered for the Alaska Miners Association (AMA) annual convention to celebrate one of the best years for the sector in recent memory, Alaska voters were making decisions that would shape the future of the more than 1,000 people gathered at the Dena’ina Center.

In terms of the state economy, the most crucial decision put before Alaska voters was Ballot Measure 1. Widely known as Stand for Salmon, Ballot Measure 1 would have put into place environmental regulations that would have made it virtually impossible to permit mining, road, oil or other projects that might have affect salmon habitat in the state.

Don Stevens, a geologist who has been exploring Alaska’s vast mineral potential for more than five decades, told Mining News that the ballot initiative would likely determine the ongoing viability of his geological consulting firm, Stevens Exploration. Continue Reading →

Museum exhibit explores Alaska’s gold industry – by Theresa Bakker (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner – November 4, 2018)

http://www.newsminer.com/

FAIRBANKS – Some of the first settlers to make their way to Fairbanks came for the promise that there was gold in the hills of the Tanana Valley. More than 100 years later, the industry is a vital economic resource and plenty of tourists still come to Alaska to discover its gold rush history.

That’s why the University of Alaska Museum of the North is exploring gold this month. Museum Educator Emily Koehler-Platten said visitors should know that gold is more than just a shiny metal. Not only has its beauty and rarity made it important to people, but it has also affected our history and culture.

“I hope museum visitors gain a deeper understanding of gold,” she said. “It is a cultural force that has deeply affected life in Alaska, and continues to impact us today. The modern history of Alaska would have been different if gold fever had not caused thousands of people to come north.” Continue Reading →

After Alaska’s ‘Burning Man for salmon’, fishermen wary of mine proposal outcome – by Gregory Scruggs (Reuters U.S. November 5, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

SEATTLE (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – As the commercial fishermen who ply salmon-rich, southwestern Alaska pack away their fishing gear for the winter, many are watching anxiously as a controversial mine proposal moves through the federal permitting process.

On Tuesday, Alaskans will vote on an initiative that, if passed, would set stricter regulations for proposed infrastructure projects that affect salmon habitats.

Advocates for the measure hope it will derail Pebble Mine, the world’s biggest undeveloped gold and copper project, and which is slated for the region of Bristol Bay – the largest fishery for sockeye salmon globally. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is preparing an environmental review of Pebble Mine, with preliminary results due in January. Continue Reading →

‘Gold Rush’ Season 9 First Look: “I’ve Got Everything on the Line” (Exclusive) – by Kimberly Nordyke (Hollywood Reporter – September 24, 2018)

 

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/

Gold Rush is coming back to Discovery Channel for a ninth season, and The Hollywood Reporter has an exclusive first look. This year, Rick Ness has decided to step it up and become a mine boss with a claim of his own — cashing in his life savings — after working six years under fellow miner Parker Schnabel.

“I’ve been working for Parker [Schnabel] for six years, but I’m done working for somebody else. I want to work for myself,” he says in the clip. “And this is my chance. I’ve got everything on the line. My house. Every penny I have. I’ve got my friends with me, their livelihoods. It doesn’t get any bigger than this.”

In the off-season, Rick spent most of his time nursing his mother until she died. As a result, he’s far behind the others as they race into the mining season. Continue Reading →

Alaska gold-mining memoir a trove of history, adventure tales – by Sam Friedman (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner – September 7, 2018)

http://www.newsminer.com/

FAIRBANKS — When Randy Zarnke was first handed an unpublished memoir about a little-known Yukon and Chena River gold miner named Frederick James Currier, the book stood out to Zarnke, both because of the types of adventures and the way the stories about them were told.

That’s saying something, because Zarnke knows Alaska outdoor stories well. He’s the president of the Alaska Trappers Association and has interviewed nearly 200 Alaska outdoorsmen for his previous book “Alaska Tracks: Life Stories from Hunters, Fisherman and Trappers of Alaska.”

“My initial reaction was, ‘Man this is really great,’” Zarnke said. “My second reaction was, ‘We’ve got to share it more widely.’“ In 2007, Zarnke received the manuscript from his friend Dirk Tordoff, a former Rasmuson Library Alaska Film Archives curator. Since reading it, Zarnke has been working on getting the book published through the Alaska Trappers Association and Anchorage business Publication Consultants. Continue Reading →

Opinions: Bristol Bay, not Pebble Mine, is the sound investment pencil – by Jonas Kron (Anchorage Daily News – September 6, 2018)

https://www.adn.com

Jonas Kron is a senior vice president at Trillium Asset Management, an investment firm that focuses on sustainable and responsible investing.

Our investment firm is in the business of recognizing, understanding and pricing risk. It’s a job that often demands difficult judgment calls, but this one is a no-brainer: Pebble Mine is a bad bet. That’s one reason why the governor of Alaska recently called for a hold on mine permitting.

Today’s smart investors don’t just look at the bottom line. We look for opportunities to promote good corporate behavior through long-term investment strategies that consider social and environmental well-being: in other words, sustainable economic growth that will deliver returns over the long term.

The Pebble Mine, a vast gold and copper mine proposed in the headwaters of southwest Alaska’s Bristol Bay, is the type of project that runs counter to sustainable economic growth. The mine jeopardizes a vast renewable resource –one that provides 14,000 jobs and an abundant source of healthy seafood that helps feed the world. Continue Reading →

Northern Star goes north to Alaska with $356m gold mine purchase – by Brad Thompson (Australian Financial Review – August 30, 2018)

https://www.afr.com/

Northern Star is backing its capacity to replicate the success of its Australian operations and silence any doubters, after taking a first big step offshore with the $US260 million ($356 million) acquisition of a gold mine in Alaska.

The Bill Beament-led Northern Star will become the new owner of the Pogo underground gold mine under a deal with Japanese multinational Sumitomo, and it was quick to compare the acquisition to that of its flagship Jundee mine in Western Australia in 2014.

The deal comes at a time when many Australian gold miners are looking to North America for acquisitions, in an attempt to take advantage of the higher relative valuations that Australian gold stocks have enjoyed compared with North American peers. Continue Reading →

Clean up that damn [British Columbia] mine – by Brian Lynch (Juneau Empire – August 17, 2018)

http://juneauempire.com/

Brian Lynch of Petersburg is a commercial fisheries biologist retired after a 30 year career with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and currently works in Petersburg for Rivers Without Borders on transboundary mining issues.

The Tulsequah Chief mine has been polluting the Taku Watershed with acid mine drainage (AMD) for over 60 years now. This pollution is in violation of British Columbia and Canadian laws and mine permits.

The most recent study done by B.C. found “unacceptable risks” from the toxic drainage. Three years ago the B.C. Mines Minister visited Juneau and promised to remedy the problem, yet nothing has been done. So, why is the pollution still happening?

Alaska Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott’s efforts to draw attention to the need for B.C. to promptly and completely close and clean up the mine site have been helpful, but more is needed to get B.C. to move beyond promises and to take action. Continue Reading →

Massive Barrick-Novagold gold mine project in Alaska receives key U.S. environmental permits – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – August 15, 2018)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Barrick Gold Corp. and Novagold Resources Inc. have been given a key governmental green light to build a massive new gold mine in Alaska, but uncertain economics amid a weakening gold price mean it’s unclear whether the capital-intensive project will ever see the light of day.

In a joint release, Barrick and its junior joint-venture partner Novagold said that they had received a number of U.S. federal government environmental permits that would pave the way for the development of the Donlin Gold project, which the duo first teamed up on more than a decade ago.

Donlin, in southwestern Alaska, is one of the world’s biggest undeveloped gold projects with 39 million ounces of gold held in the economically uncertain “resources” category. Continue Reading →

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 →