Archive | Alaska Mining

Northern Dynasty shares surge 32 per cent after crucial Alaska permit approval – by  Sunny Freeman (Financial Post – April 13, 2017)

Northern Dynasty Mineral Ltd. stock jumped as much as 32 per cent Wednesday after it received a crucial permit from the Alaska government that could see its Pebble project clear a 10-year-long development hurdle.

The Vancouver-based company, which has also recently been the target of a short-seller campaign, said late Tuesday its U.S. subsidiary Pebble Limited Partnership has received notice of approval for a miscellaneous land use permit from the Alaska Department of Natural Resources.

Its stock was trading up 31.7 per cent at $2.41 apiece in midday trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Shares had been on a tear, rising nearly 300 per cent since the November election of U.S. President Donald Trump on speculation that his administration would loosen environmental regulations that have held back its Pebble copper-gold project. Continue Reading →

IN DEPTH: 60 years later, Alaska still calling B.C. to task on a mine leak flowing through its river – by Francis Plourde and Maryse Zeidler (CBC News BC – April 5, 2017)

In a quiet corner of B.C., a mine that shut down 60 years ago has been slowly leaking acid runoff into a river that flows into Alaska. Officials there are working to change that.

In 1957, the Tulsequah Chief mine on the shores of the Taku River in northwest B.C. closed its doors, leaving behind acid mine drainage — the acidic water created at mining sites that can then drain into waterways, which critics say can harm fish and other wildlife.

The drainage is a big concern for Alaskans given the location of the mine — next to one of the most important salmon rivers in the U.S. The Alaskan government has tried dozens of times to compel B.C. officials to do something about the drainage since the mine closed. Continue Reading →

Critical potential: New USGS tool discovers fresh critical minerals hunting grounds in Alaska – by Shane Lasley (Mining/Petroleum News – April 2017)

Exploration companies familiar with Alaska already know the Far North state is a great place to look for critical minerals such as rare earth elements, platinum group metals, cobalt and tin. A new report published by the U.S. Geological Survey, however, indicates that Alaska may be richer in these and other minerals vital to the United States than previously realized.

Working alongside the Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys, USGS developed a new geospatial tool that integrated and analyzed a massive load of geologic information and used this data to estimate the resource potential for six deposit types that host a large array of critical minerals.

After crunching all the data, this tool turned up new and expanded areas of Alaska with the potential for these minerals that are vital to modern living but that the United States depends upon foreign countries for more than half of its supply. Continue Reading →

Gold miners hike the Klondike Trail in new reality series – by Emily Fehrenbacher (Alaska Dispatch News – March 17, 2017)

There is a new three-part series on Discovery Channel called “Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail.” It will follow 22-year-old Parker Schnabel, who is apparently already a star of “Gold Rush,” as he attempts to conquer the Klondike Trail.

In the sneak peek for the show, the gangly young adult with a shaggy haircut says, “I want to test myself against my grandpa and the pioneers that came before him.” The more I watched of the 30-second teaser, the more I was convinced Parker is actually Adam Driver researching a new post-“Girls” role.

According to the Discovery Channel’s presser: “In the first episode, Parker and his team will set out on the first leg of the journey, considered one of the most physically challenging parts. The 45-degree ascent would be tough for any seasoned athlete, but is especially difficult for Rick, who’s out of shape, drinks too much and is a smoker.” Continue Reading →

Don’t trust B.C. on Tulsequah Chief Mine – by Chris Miller (Juneau Empire – March 11, 2017)

Chris Miller is a professional photographer, based in Juneau, who focuses on commercial fisheries.

In June 2010, I visited the Tulsequah Chief Mine to see what was being done to halt the acid mine drainage flowing into the Tulsequah River, the largest tributary to the transboundary Taku River, since mine owner Redfern went bankrupt in March 2009.

It was shocking to see the site, which sits right on the banks of the Tulsequah River, about 13 river miles upstream of the Alaska/British Columbia (B.C.) border and 40 miles northeast of Juneau, essentially abandoned and the orange acid mine drainage pooling up and draining into the Tulsequah River.

In 2013, I flew over the site and the highly toxic acid mine drainage was still flowing out of the mine and into the river. Continue Reading →

Northern Dynasty hits back after scathing short-seller’s report – by Ian McGugan (Globe and Mail – February 1, 2017)

Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd., the Vancouver miner blindsided by a short-seller’s scathing report, fired back on Friday, saying the polemic is “unsupported speculation” from a “troubled organization” that doesn’t understand mining.

Kerrisdale Capital Management, a New York investment firm, hammered Northern Dynasty’s stock on Tuesday when it published a report arguing the miner is “worthless” because its undeveloped copper and gold resource in Alaska is not commercially viable.

In response, Northern Dynasty said Kerrisdale’s analysis contains numerous errors and misunderstandings. “Their report isn’t worth the paper it’s written on,” Northern Dynasty chief executive Ron Thiessen said in an interview. Continue Reading →

Mine prospect near Nome could help make batteries for laptops and cars – by Alex DeMarban (Alaska Dispatch News – February 2, 2017)

A preliminary economic analysis has found that a graphite mining prospect near Nome — an effort to capitalize on a potential supply crunch from China and a growing appetite for electric vehicles — could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars if it’s developed.

“It shows we have an economically viable project,” Doug Smith, executive chair of Graphite One Resources, said in an interview. “And it shows in general what size we would be, and what kind of processing facilities we need. Now the next phase is to refine and optimize that.”

The graphite deposit in the mountains 37 miles north of Nome in Northwest Alaska is considered to be one of the world’s largest. But the Graphite Creek project, as it’s known, would be a relatively small operation for a mine, company officials said from their offices in Canada. Continue Reading →

Pebble revived: Owner plans to file for permits in 2017 – by Tim Bradner (Alaska Journal – January 25, 2017)

Alaskans are used to seeing apocalyptic images about the Pebble mine. TV ads opposing the large copper-gold prospect near Iliamna cast images of toxic sludge cascading down mountain valleys into Bristol Bay, killing all the salmon.

Is the hype shoe now on the other foot? It’s jarring, but sponsored-content pitches are now showing up on mainstream Internet sites touting Pebble, posted not by owner Northern Dynasty but by people touting Pebble’s stock.

The headline blares: “Is this tiny gold miner about to soar? Will Trump open development of the world’s biggest gold mine … right here in America?” With a new friend in Washington — meaning President Donald Trump — Pebble’s ultimate development is a no-brainer, the story goes. Continue Reading →

Trump Makes Canadian Mine Explorer With Zero Revenue Great Again – by Natalie Obiko Pearson (Bloomberg News – January 19, 2017)

There’s one thing Donald Trump is already making great again: a small Canadian explorer with rights to one of the world’s largest undeveloped copper and gold deposits.

Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. has more than tripled since the U.S. election to approach a four-year high this week amid speculation the incoming administration will allow the explorer’s long-stalled Pebble project in Alaska to move ahead. Last week, the Vancouver-based company drummed up C$43 million ($32.4 million) in a secondary share offering to investors eager for a stake in a resource it estimates at more than 6 billion tons of ore.

That’s quite a revival for Northern Dynasty, whose sole project had appeared all but dead only a year ago. After peaking at a market value of almost $2 billion in 2011, the company’s luck turned — it was abandoned by Anglo American Plc and Rio Tinto Group amid a commodity rout, and it was obstructed by the Environmental Protection Agency after the project had already burned through more than $550 million. Continue Reading →

Alaska Gold Mine Dispute Stayed as Operators Look to Trump – by Stephen Lee (Bloomberg – January 5, 2017)

Backers of the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska agreed to pause their lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency, a move many are reading as a bid for friendlier terms under the incoming Trump administration.

In 2015, the EPA proposed under the Clean Water Act to limit where the massive mine would be allowed to dispose its waste, in order to protect the nearby Bristol Bay salmon fishery.

In response, the mine’s backers filed suit in a U.S. district court, alleging that the EPA colluded with three federal advisory committees to arrive at a predetermined conclusion that handicapped the proposed gold and copper mine. Continue Reading →

British Columbia to clean up mine near Juneau (Washington Times – January 5, 2017)

Associated Press – JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – Canadian officials say they will take action to prevent polluted water from a decades-old mine from entering the Taku River, a key source of salmon caught in southeast Alaska.

British Columbia Ministry of Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett told CoastAlaska News ( experts will explore different options, including plugging leaking tunnels from the defunct Tulsequah Chief Mine. The acidic water has been carrying pollutants into the Tulsequah River, which is a tributary of the Taku near Juneau.

The mine hasn’t operated since 1957, and the two companies that tried to reopen it in the last 20 years have been unsuccessful. Continue Reading →

Year in Review: Mining: Transboundary concerns, Icy Cape prospect, Red Dog tax battle – by Staff (Alaska Journal of Commerce – December 2016)

Alaskans worried about the potential impact of upstream Canadian mines on Southeast Alaska fisheries officially got their voices heard by the State Department after years of asking for federal intervention.

An assistant secretary of state wrote in an October letter to the Alaska congressional delegation that the State Department is actively engaged with Canadian officials to protect the “transboundary” watersheds that bisect the U.S.-Canada border along Southeast Alaska.

The October letter was in response to a September request from Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Rep. Don Young to Secretary of State John Kerry requesting the State Department to establish a formal way for Canadian officials to consult with U.S. federal and state agencies and Alaska Native tribes during Canada’s mine permitting process, similar to the domestic environmental impact statement process. It was the second such letter the delegation had sent to Kerry since May. Continue Reading →

Trump win ignites hope for stalled Alaska copper, gold mine – by Nicle Mordant(Reuters – December 21, 2016)

VANCOUVER – A small Canadian miner is confident Donald Trump’s U.S. presidential win will let it proceed with an application for a copper and gold mine in Alaska that has been stalled almost three years by environmental regulators aiming to protect the world’s biggest sockeye salmon fishery.

Ronald Thiessen, chief executive officer and president of Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd, said he expected the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to announce in the first quarter of 2017 that it will let the application process proceed for the controversial project. He said the company has held discussions with Trump’s transition team, including Myron Ebell, who heads the EPA transition.

Shares in Northern Dynasty, which owns the massive Pebble deposit in southwest Alaska’s Bristol Bay region, have more than doubled since the U.S. election on Nov. 8. The shares surged 23 percent on Nov. 9 alone. Continue Reading →

A golden anniversary for Fort Knox: Alaska’s highest-producing gold mine celebrates 20 years in operation – Editorial (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner – November 4, 2016)

News-Miner opinion: The traditional gift on a 20th anniversary is china, but for Kinross Fort Knox Gold Mine, every anniversary is golden. This year, the massive open-pit mine north of Fairbanks poured its 7 millionth ounce of gold, a milestone the company initially thought it might never reach. For two decades, the mine has been a major employer for the Interior. New techniques and prospects may yet push its lifespan further than expected.

The claim to the land where Fort Knox now sits was originally staked more than 100 years ago, in 1913. But though other nearby lands close to Fox were subject to heavy placer and dredge mining during Fairbanks’ early decades, the Fort Knox land sat idle until it was restaked in 1980 and purchased in 1992 by Amax Gold.

Construction on the mine began in 1995, and the next year, it poured its first bar of gold. In 1998, Amax merged with Toronto-based Kinross Gold Co., and in the 18 years since, millions more ounces of gold have been poured at the mine. Continue Reading →

U.S. State Dept has interest in upstream Canadian mining projects – by Elwood Brehmer (Alaska Journal of Commerce – October 17, 2016)

But the issue is far from resolved says Alaska’s congressional delegation

The U.S. State Department has taken a positive step to recognize the concerns some Alaskans have with upstream Canadian mining projects, but the issue is far from resolved, according to the members of Alaska’s congressional delegation.

Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs Julia Frifield wrote in an Oct. 6 letter to the delegation that the State Department is actively engaged with Canadian officials to protect the watersheds that bisect the U.S.-Canada border along Southeast Alaska.

“The Department of State intends to continue to work, in coordination with other U.S. government agencies, to ascertain what the Canadian federal government is doing to meet U.S. concerns about protecting this sensitive shared ecosystem from potential transboundary pollution during mine development, operation, impoundment design, and post-closure, and through bonding practices,” Frifield wrote. Continue Reading →