Archive | Alaska Mining

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 →

[Alaska Mining] Pebble project draft study fuels Legislature debate – by Steve Quinn (KTVA.com – April 1, 2019)

https://www.ktva.com/

The merits of a draft environmental impact statement on the proposed Pebble Mine project near Bristol Bay – the headwaters for one of the world’s largest salmon fisheries – are being debated in the state Capitol.

The Pebble Partnership’s 20-year plan for its planned copper mine is under review by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. On Monday the House Resources Committee heard from the project’s critics, who say any mine in the area represents a threat to one of the state’s most valuable and abundant renewable resources.

Critics have called the study incomplete with “tenuous assumptions,” and a failure for assuming “no important cumulative risks.” They say it also “dismisses many environmental risks, including the risk of a tailings dam failure,” thereby jeopardizing one of the world’s most prolific sockeye salmon fisheries. Continue Reading →

Opinions: Don’t buy the alarmism about the Pebble Mine – by Ron Thiessen (Anchorage Daily News – March 24, 2019)

https://www.adn.com/

Ron Thiessen is President and CEO of Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd., owner of the Pebble Limited Partnership and the Pebble Project.

There’s at least one thing I can agree on with the Bristol Bay lodge owners who recently published an op-ed in the Anchorage Daily News. Well, maybe two.

The lodge owners faithfully report in the opening paragraph of their screed: “The most important document on the Pebble Project’s path to a key permit to mine … has been released by the Army Corps of Engineers.” They go on to say, quite rightly, “that document, the draft environmental impact statement, is often considered the linchpin of permitting.”

These things are exactly correct. But from that point forward, the views and opinions of the ardent anti-mining authors don’t only diverge from mine. They diverge sharply, even radically, from the professional judgment of the independent engineers and scientists employed by the US Army Corps of Engineers as expressed in the Pebble draft EIS. Continue Reading →

Opinions: Pebble Mine draft environmental impact statement fails Alaskans – by Daren Erickson, John Holman, Brian Kraft, Nanci Morris Lyon, Dan Michels, Phil Shoemaker, Tia Shoemaker (Anchorage Daily News – March 9, 2019)

https://www.adn.com/

Daren Erickson operates Enchanted Lake Lodge (King Salmon/Eagle River). John Holman operates No See Um Lodge (Kvichak River/Wasilla). Brian Kraft operates Alaska Sportsman’s Lodge (Igiugig/Anchorage). Nanci Morris Lyon operates Bear Trail Lodge (King Salmon). Dan Michels operates Crystal Creek Lodge (King Salmon/Wasilla). Phil Shoemaker and Tia Shoemaker operate Grizzly Skins of Alaska (Kejulik River/Wasilla).

The most important document on the Pebble Project’s path to a key permit to mine the headwaters of Bristol Bay has been released by the Army Corps of Engineers and utterly fails the people of Alaska.

That document, the draft environmental impact statement, is often considered the linchpin of permitting because it should outline the risks and options for safely advancing or altering a project. However, in this document, the Corps blatantly ignored risks and Alaskan concerns, seemingly content to push forward a mine that Alaskans have said time and again we don’t want.

Pebble’s draft EIS fails to meet basic standards of scientific rigor in a region that demands the opposite. There are myriad ways to back this up, but here is what rises to the top for us. Continue Reading →

Northern Dynasty raises $10 million to develop Alaska Pebble project – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – March 13, 2019)

http://www.mining.com/

Northern Dynasty Minerals (TSX:NDM) has entered into a bought deal financing with Cantor Fitzgerald Canada to raise $10 million that will allow the miner to further advance its Pebble copper-gold-silver project in Alaska.

The deal prices the company’s shares at 64 Canadian cents, a 13.5% discount to the stock’s price before the financing was announced.

The Canadian miner has also granted the underwriters an over-allotment option to acquire up to an additional 2.34 million-plus shares, which could raise another $1.5 million. Continue Reading →

Controversial Alaska gold-copper mine moves step closer to approval – by Yereth Rosen (Reuters U.S. – February 20, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) – The world’s biggest undeveloped gold and copper mining project, planned in southwestern Alaska near the largest fishery for sockeye salmon globally, moved a step closer to approval on Wednesday after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a draft environmental impact statement.

The Pebble Mine would produce 70 million tons of gold, molybdenum and copper ore a year and create a pit 1,970 feet (600 meters) deep. A new road, pipeline and power plant would be built, according to the mine plan.

The site is near Lake Iliamna in southwestern Alaska between the headwaters of two rivers that drain into Bristol Bay. The Corps’ draft statement came after public meetings that began last April to hear views from tribes and local communities about the potential benefits and environmental risks of the project. Continue Reading →

Opinions: A road to somewhere: Why the Ambler Road makes sense pencil – by David Prum (Anchorage Daily News – February 7, 2019)

https://www.adn.com/

David J. Prum is president and founder of Applied-Constructal, Inc.

As we move forward toward a carbon-free energy economy, there will be some tough environmental choices to be made. Expanding zero-carbon energy sources will require massive new sources of certain materials that can only be mined from the earth with a certain amount of local environmental disruption. Copper is one of those essential materials.

All the new technologies powering any new revolution in green energy require copper as a conductive material. Solar panels, electric vehicles, wind turbines, new efficient batteries and the smart electrical grid to connect them all require copper. The investments in these necessary technologies will require massive new sources of copper.

Someday, the conductive materials needed to power the technology of a zero-carbon economy may be fabricated out of carbon itself in the form of new carbon nanotube materials. Until then, there is no alternative to copper mined from the ground. Continue Reading →

Donlin Gold moves ahead: Project in Southwest Alaska would be boost for economy (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner – January 29, 2019)

http://www.newsminer.com/

News-Miner opinion: It’s been quite the month for the two companies behind the proposed Donlin Gold project in Southwest Alaska.

It was just over a week ago that the companies — NOVAGOLD Resources Alaska Inc. and Barrick Gold US Inc. — announced that the Donlin Gold project had received two key permits from the state. One, from the Department of Environmental Conservation, is the waste management permit.

The other, from the Department of Natural Resources, approves of the project’s reclamation plan, which is the process the companies will undertake to close the mine and maintain the site at the end of the mine’s estimated life of at least 27 years. For that permit, the companies had to assure the state that funds would be available for the reclamation. Continue Reading →

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 →