Archive | Alaska Mining

How a fault that stretches from the Yukon to Interior Alaska slides Canadian gold into the state – by Ned Rozell (Anchorage Daily News – March 8, 2020)

https://www.adn.com/

Nate Becker lives with his family on a quiet stretch of the Yukon River as it flows into Alaska. On a recent ski trip, I visited the Beckers’ home along with two geologist friends. Nate had a question for them.

“Why are all the gold deposits located on the south side of the river here, and none are on the north side?” Becker said.

A quick look at the map of Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve showed what Becker was talking about. In the 160 miles between the towns of Eagle and Circle, a half-dozen gold-mining settlements — most of them ghosted out — were on the south bank of the Yukon River. Not one was on the north side. That seemed like more than a coincidence. Continue Reading →

Fraser Survey: Alaska shines, Canada slips – by Shane Lasley (North of 60 Mining News – February 28, 2020)

https://www.miningnewsnorth.com/

Canada’s provinces and territories have fallen from grace in the eyes of the global mining community, according to the latest rendition of Fraser Institute’s Annual Survey of Mining Companies.

For the first time in a decade, no Canadian jurisdiction ranks in the top 10 for “investment attractiveness” in the annual survey conducted by the Canadian public policy think-tank.

This report asks industry professionals from around the globe to score mining jurisdictions based on their mineral endowment and various policy topics important to mining. The investment attractiveness metric of the survey is a compilation of respondent’s views on both geology and policy. Continue Reading →

Prospects brighten for Northern Dynasty Pebble mine on leaked draft study – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – February 13, 2020)

https://www.mining.com/

A leaked draft of an environmental impact statement (EIS) on Northern Dynasty’s (TSX: NDM) proposed copper-gold mine in Alaska has brighten up its prospects, suggesting nearby terrestrial freshwater resources and downstream fisheries could co-exist with the project.

While the US Army Corps of Engineers’ document is not final, it could mean the government is closer to issuing a long-sought permit for the $100 billion copper-gold mine in the Bristol Bay, southwest Alaska.

Shares jumped up as much 9.4% to 70 cents on the news on Wednesday, to close at 69 cents, the highest value so far this year. If permitted, Pebble would be North America’s largest mine, according to a study by the Center for Science in Public Participation. Continue Reading →

No viable substitute for critical chromium – by Shane Lasley (North of 60 Mining News – January 30, 2020)

https://www.miningnewsnorth.com/

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. Alaska is second only to Montana when it comes to the best states to explore for future domestic needs of this important strategic and critical mineral. Continue Reading →

Governor extends open invitation to mining industry – by Ben Hahenstatt (Juneau Empire – January 23, 2020)

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Gov. Mike Dunleavy told the mining industry Alaska is open for business during an annual mining conference in British Columbia. Dunleavy, who spoke Wednesday at an Alaska Night event held during the Association of Mineral Exploration Roundup Conference, can be heard in a recording of his remarks obtained by the Empire emphasizing Alaska’s openness to mining projects.

“We have gold, silvers, lead, zincs, you name it,” Dunleavy said. “We have everything in the state of Alaska, and what you have now in the state of Alaska is an open invitation for all of you to set up shop in the state of Alaska.”

In a release prior to the convention, Dunleavy said he intended to encourage mining investment in Alaska at the conference and would be joined by commissioners Doug Vincent-Lang, Department of Fish and Game; Corri Feige, Department of Natural Resources; and Jason Brune, Department of Environmental Conservation. Continue Reading →

Alaska Natives and fishermen sue EPA for reversing Pebble Mine decision – by Richard Read (Los Angeles Times – October 8, 2019)

https://www.latimes.com/

SEATTLE — Trump administration officials broke the law when they reversed course and gave a green light to a proposed copper and gold mine near Alaska’s Bristol Bay, mining opponents said in a lawsuit filed Tuesday.

Alaska Native, commercial fishing and economic development organizations said the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision July 30 to step aside and let the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determine whether to permit the Pebble Mine was “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion” and illegal.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Anchorage is the latest challenge to the project that the EPA’s Seattle branch criticized in written comments July 1 before abruptly reversing course, withdrawing the agency’s option to block the proposed open-pit copper and gold mine. Continue Reading →

How a salmon scientist got hooked into a battle over the world’s largest gold mine – by Warren Cornwall (Science Magazine – September 26, 2019)

https://www.sciencemag.org/

It’s hard to think small in Alaska. The largest of the United States is home to North America’s highest mountain range. It’s a place where undammed rivers run more than 1000 kilometers, glaciers collapse into the ocean, and polar bears roam.

Daniel Schindler, however, is here hunting for something the size of a grain of rice. Crouching in tiny Allah Creek, hemmed in by alders and smeared in blood, he grasps a rotting sockeye salmon carcass and nearly decapitates the fish with a stroke of a carving knife.

With tweezers, he delves into a cavity of creamy goo tucked behind the brain and plucks out a sliver of what looks like bone. It is an otolith, a bit of calcium carbonate that sits within the inner ear and acts like an internal gyroscope, helping the fish orient its movements. Continue Reading →

Apple and Tiffany & Co. will source gold from miners who have committed to restore streams for fish (MacDailyNews.com – August 13, 2019)

https://macdailynews.com/

There are hundreds of small and large placer mining operations in Alaska actively producing gold in the US. Placer mining sites sit along creeks and streams, giving miners the chance to re-mine for any nuggets or fine gold left over from the Yukon’s Klondike Gold Rush in the late 1890s.

Meanwhile, since 1991, 12 Pacific salmon runs have been listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). These routes that salmon use to make their run to their spawning beds each year are often adjacent to placer mining sites.

The causes for the ESA classification are not limited to mining. Add logging, urbanization, record wildfires and landslides in the region, and salmon runs don’t stand a chance. But RESOLVE, a nonprofit organization tackling some of the planet’s most critical challenges through innovative, unexpected partnerships, wants to fix that. Continue Reading →

Murkowski, Sullivan urge action on mine cleanup – by Peter Segall (Juneau Empire – August 5, 2019)

Juneau Empire

Alaska’s Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, both Republicans, on Monday hosted a number of state and federal agencies, local organizations and commissioners of the U.S.-Canada International Joint Commission for a round-table discussion of transboundary mining.

Among the organizations present were the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, Salmon Beyond Borders, Council of Alaska Producers, Alaska Miners Association and United Fishermen of Alaska.

Government organizations present were the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Forest Service, Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Alaska Department of Fish and Game and Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Continue Reading →

Alaska mine developer Northern Dynasty wins U.S. EPA reprieve, shares soar – by Nichola Saminather (Reuters Canada – July 30, 2019)

https://ca.reuters.com/

TORONTO (Reuters) – The Trump administration said on Tuesday it would lift an Obama-era restriction on the world’s biggest undeveloped gold and copper resource owned by Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd, sending the Canadian company’s shares soaring.

Under former U.S. President Barack Obama, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2014 proposed limits on large-scale mining in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed, citing environmental concerns. Under President Donald Trump, the EPA has dismantled scores of environmental rules and Trump rejects mainstream climate science.

Northern Dynasty’s site is near Lake Iliamna in southwestern Alaska between the headwaters of two rivers that drain into Bristol Bay, and is known for its huge salmon runs, wilderness and abundant brown bears. Continue Reading →

U.S. senators to Horgan: clean up B.C.’s mining mess – by Sarah Cox (The Narwhal – June 13, 2019)

The Narwhal

Eight American senators have written to B.C. Premier John Horgan urging him to address downstream contamination from the province’s metal and coal mines.

The letter — an unprecedented joint undertaking from all senators from the four states bordering the province, including both Republicans and Democrats — outlines concerns about potential environmental and economic impacts from B.C. mines that pollute rivers flowing into the U.S.

“As you know, Alaska, Washington, Idaho and Montana have tremendous natural resources that need to be protected against impacts from B.C. hard rock and coal-mining activities near the headwaters of shared rivers, many of which support environmentally and economically significant salmon populations,” the senators wrote in the two-page letter, released Thursday. Continue Reading →

No viable substitute for critical chromium – by Shane Lasley (North of 60 Mining News – May 25, 2019)

https://www.miningnewsnorth.com/

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 →

House Fisheries urges pressure on B.C. over transboundary mining – by Jacob Resneck (Alaska Public Media – May 1, 2019)

Alaska Public Media

A legislative committee heard from mine critics on both sides of the border during a Tuesday hearing in Juneau. It’s part of an effort to pressure British Columbia to tighten its mining regulations to reduce the threat of pollution from transboundary mines.

After hearing exclusively from mine critics, Rep. Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, said the House Fisheries Committee’s 90-minute hearing on transboundary mining wasn’t meant to be anti-mine.

“We are simply asking our neighbors across the border to adhere to best and safe practices when mining in our shared watersheds,” the committee’s chairwoman said, “which is clearly something they have a poor track record with.” Continue Reading →

Opinion: Trump’s EPA wants to put a toxic mine in pristine Alaska. What could go wrong? – by Kim Heacox (The Guardian – April 22, 2019)

https://www.theguardian.com/

Pebble Mine is just the latest story of greedy men exploiting nature for profit, and leaving us with the nasty side-effects

Back in my youth, while in Montana, I came across Berkeley Pit, called “the richest hill on earth.” There, churches and historic neighborhoods were bulldozed to expand the pit so greedy men could make their fortunes mining copper, silver and gold.

After the riches were extracted, and problems arose, those men absolved themselves of any wrongdoing, and left. Over time, the mine closed and the pit began to fill with an acidic brew so toxic that when snow geese landed there, they died.

As it threatened Montana’s groundwater, the pit became an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) superfund site that would cost American taxpayers billions of dollars for generations. Continue Reading →

[Alaska Mining] Owner, Former Mining Exec Spar Over Pebble Mine’s Economics – by Stephen Lee (Bloomberg News – April 2, 2019)

https://news.bloombergenvironment.com/

  • Richard Borden, longtime Rio Tinto employee, says Pebble can’t be profitable
  • Pebble says Borden biased, paid by environmental group

The owners of the planned Pebble Mine in Alaska are firing back against a longtime mining executive who raised eyebrows when he said the project would lose $3 billion over its 20-year lifespan.

Richard Borden’s prediction that the mine would produce only a small amount of low-grade minerals has sparked controversy because he admits he was paid by an environmental group to write his analysis, even though he is widely seen as pro-business after spending 23 years at British mining giant Rio Tinto Plc.

Borden’s prognosis could scare off potential Pebble investors at a time when the company appears to be trying to raise funds. Twice in the last month, the firm has sold large blocks of shares, saying it needed the money to fund an environmental impact study and for “enhanced outreach and engagement with political and regulatory offices.” Continue Reading →