Archive | Alaska Mining

[Alaska Mining] Bristol Bay braces for long awaited Pebble Mine plans – by Dave Bendinger (Alaska Public Media – October 3, 2017)


This week, Pebble Limited Partnership is expected to publicly unveil the outline for a plan to mine the copper and gold deposit northwest of Iliamna. Those who have been briefed say the company’s plans call for a much smaller mine than discussed before, and appear to address many of the concerns raised by Bristol Bay residents and fishermen, environmentalists and the EPA.

As a region, the Bristol Bay watershed has largely opposed Pebble, perhaps in increasing numbers, for the past decade. Much of the effort focused on pushing President Obama’s EPA to finalize preemptive Section 404(c) Clean Water Act restrictions that would have blocked permitting of Pebble Mine’s dredge and fill activities.

Pebble filed several lawsuits, alleging in one that EPA and anti-mine activists were colluding to reach a predetermined outcome. That lawsuit found traction in the court of U.S. District Judge H. Russel Holland, who agreed to an injunction against further EPA effort until the case was resolved. Continue Reading →

[Alaska mining] Actor Leonardo DiCaprio donates $80,000 to Southeast group (Juneau Empire – September 23, 2017)

You might call it a titanic contribution. The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, founded in 1998 by the eponymous screen actor, announced an $80,000 grant to the Southeast Alaska Indigenous Transboundary Commission (SEITC) on Tuesday. The money will help the group in its efforts to protect Southeast waters from Canadian mining projects they believe are threatening their indigenous way of life.

The donation was made as part of a $20 million philanthropic effort, according to Hollywood Reporter. DiCaprio announced the portfolio of grants at a climate change conference at Yale University.

SEITC is comprised of 16 federally-recognized tribes and is based out of Kasaan, Alaska. In a Friday phone conversation, Chairman Frederick Otilius Olsen, Jr. said the money will help the group protect the environment from industrialization rapidly occurring across the border from Southeast Alaska. Continue Reading →

Teck ups Red Dog guidance; outlines significant exploration target for Aktigiruq – by Henry Lazenby ( – September 19, 2017)

VANCOUVER ( – Canada’s largest diversified miner Teck Resources has added about 50 000 t of zinc output to the full-year guidance for its Red Dog mine, in Alaska.

Vancouver-headquartered Teck advised that improving recoveries in the last few months has prompted the company to lift guidance to a range of 525 000 t to 550 000 t of zinc, up from the most recent guidance range of 475 000 t to 500 000 t of zinc.

The company increased production because of changes in mine sequencing and improved metallurgical recoveries, enabling higher-grade mill feed with a greater percentage of ore from the Qanaiyaq pit in the second half of the year. Meanwhile, Teck expects yearly zinc output at Red Dog over the next five years to range between 475 000 t and 550 000 t of zinc. Continue Reading →

Opinion: Proposed Pebble Mine a non-starter for Alaska – by Joe Chythlook (Vancouver Sun – September 13, 2017)

Joe Chythlook is chairman of the board of the Anchorage-based Bristol Bay Native Corporation.

By now, Alaskans have come to the unfortunate realization that the proposed Pebble Mine — a potentially massive gold and copper mine owned by a Vancouver company — is not dead.

A new administration in Washington, D.C. that is taking a vastly different approach to resource management is giving fresh life to a proposal to build a mine in an ecologically sensitive and economically important area of the state.

For many in the Bristol Bay region in southwest Alaska, timing of the Pebble Limited Partnership’s recent settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was ironic. It came just before the start of commercial fishing season — a season in which a near-record 59 million fish passed through Bristol Bay, waters that supply nearly half of the world’s wild sockeye salmon harvest. Continue Reading →

Fannie Quigley, the Alaska Gold Rush’s All-in-One Miner, Hunter, Brewer, and Cook – by Tessa Hulls (Atlas Obscura – August 21, 2017)

She used mine shafts as a beer fridge and shot bears to get lard for pie crusts.

TALES OF ALASKA’S GOLD RUSHES, which began in the 1890s, are full of larger-than-life men—bold, cantankerous fellows who drank and swore and shot as they chased promises of gold across the stark, untrammeled tundra. But nestled among all the stories of men is the story of Fannie Quigley, a five-foot-tall frontierswoman who spent almost 40 years homesteading and prospecting in Kantishna, a remote Alaskan mining region that would later become part of Denali National Park.

Like the men around her, Quigley drank, swore, and shot bears—but unlike those men, she used her bear lard to create the legendarily flaky crusts of the rhubarb pies she served to her backcountry guests.

Over her decades in the backcountry, Quigley acquired a reputation as not only a renowned hostess and cook, but one of the finest hunters the region had ever seen. Her guests—who were many, despite the fact that her cabin was only accessible by foot or dogsled— Continue Reading →

[Alaska] Tribes hire coordinator to battle B.C. mines – by Kevin Gullufsen (Juneau Empire – August 7, 2017)

Banding together, 16 Southeast tribes will push for a seat at the table in talks with Canada about mining issues on shared waters. The United Tribal Transboundary Mining Work Group hired its first full-time employee, they announced in an Aug. 1 press release.

One of her first tasks will be to secure the tribes a stronger voice in inter-governmental talks about a series of large Canadian mining projects upriver from salmon habitat on the Stikine, Unuk and Taku River watersheds.

Based out of Wrangell, coordinator Tis Peterman will head up efforts to raise the tribes’ voice in ongoing discussions over the mines. Peterman is working on a Memorandum of Understanding, which would give the tribes a position alongside the state of Alaska and British Columbia in meetings about the controversial mining projects. Continue Reading →

Alaska, Canada must safeguard fisheries from B.C. mining operations – by Dale Kelley and Louise Stutes (Alaska Dispatch News – August 3, 2017)

Rep. Louise Stutes serves Alaska House District 32, which includes Kodiak, Cordova and Yakutat. Dale Kelley has been executive director of the Alaska Trollers Association for nearly 30 years. She serves on the boards of several state and national fisheries organizations and federal advisory groups.

Legislators and fishing representatives may appear to have very different jobs, but the reality is that we are both charged with looking out for the best interests of the hard-working people we represent.

One issue of mutual concern is making sure Alaska communities do not suffer harm from Canadian mines under development in our shared watersheds. And, should the unthinkable occur, we want the responsible parties to clean up the mess and reimburse any losses. Currently, Alaska has no binding agreement with Canada to ensure that happens. Continue Reading →

Pebble mine a step closer to reality as EPA to withdraw restrictions – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – July 13, 2017)

Shares in Canadian miner Northern Dynasty Minerals (TSX:NDM) were up Wednesday morning following a decision by the Trump administration that could further pave the way for the company’s vast, but stalled Pebble copper-gold-silver project in Alaska.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed late Tuesday revoking a 2014 ruling that bans large-scale mining in the area over the potential risks to one of the planet’s greatest wild salmon fisheries.

The federal agency noted it would accept public comments on the proposal for the next 90 days before making a final decision. Continue Reading →

Controversial Alaskan gold mine could be revived under Trump’s EPA – by Brady Dennis (Washington Post – July 11, 2017)

The Trump administration has taken a key step toward paving the way for a controversial gold, copper and molybdenum mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed, marking a sharp reversal from President Barack Obama’s opposition to the project.

The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday proposed withdrawing its 2014 determination barring any large-scale mine in the area because it would imperil the region’s valuable sockeye salmon fishery. The agency said it would accept public comments on the proposal for the next 90 days.

“The facts haven’t changed. The science hasn’t changed. The opposition hasn’t changed,” said Taryn Kiekow Heimer, a senior policy analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council, which has fought the proposed mine. “The fact that it’s the wrong mine in the wrong place hasn’t changed. But the politics have changed.” Continue Reading →

Mining News: Prospects for change: NMA President Quinn encouraged by Trump’s resource development policies (North of 60 Mining News – July 9, 2017)

After eight years of battling anti-mining policies being promulgated by the Obama Administration, the National Mining Association is cautiously optimistic about the positive change in the tone and substance of U.S. resource development policies since Donald Trump has moved into the White House.

“The November election ushered in a surprisingly swift and dramatic change, particularly in the way people in Washington D.C. view natural resources,” NMA President and CEO Hal Quinn said during a June 28 keynote speech at the Resource Development Council for Alaska annual membership luncheon in Anchorage.

The leader of the United States’ top mining advocacy group said the about face in the tone and substance emanating from the White House when it comes to mining policies extends to the nation’s resource sectors at large. Continue Reading →

[Alaska] Robust Resources – Red Dog Mine celebrates milestone anniversary – by Melanie Franner (Mining North of 60 – April 14, 2015)

It’s been 25 years since the opening of the Red Dog zinc and lead mine, created through an operating agreement between Teck Resources Limited (Teck) and NANA Regional Corporation Inc. (NANA), an Alaskan native corporation, to develop mineral resources on its territorial land. That agreement is still in effect today and has resulted in approximately $1 billion in royalties being paid to NANA.

“We have been operating the Red Dog Mine since 1989,” explains Wayne Hall, manager, communications and public relations at Teck’s Red Dog Mine. “There is a long history associated with the mine which began in the early 1980s when NANA began looking for a mining company to partner with that had experience mining in northern latitudes and cold climates.” That company turned out to be Cominco Limited, which eventually became part of Teck Resources, Canada’s largest diversified resources company.

NANA, owned by the Iñupiat people of Northwest Alaska, is the landowner of a region that measures 38,000 square miles, most of which is above the Arctic Circle. The region includes 11 communities that range in size from 122 to more than 3,500 residents. Continue Reading →

Conservationists call on new B.C. gov’t to act on Tulsequah Chief mine cleanup – by Derrick Penner (Vancouver Sun – July 4, 2017)

Conservation and indigenous groups in Alaska are pushing B.C.’s new government to act on cleaning up the dormant Tulsequah Chief mine site near the border in Alaska’s southeastern panhandle.

The mine site has sat dormant since September 2016, when owner Chieftain Metals Corp. was pushed into receivership. But rather than allow the mine to be sold out of bankruptcy, the Alaskan groups are asking B.C. to just clean it up and shut it down.

Chieftain is now the second company that has fallen into bankruptcy trying to resurrect the Tulsequah Chief since it was shut down in 1957 by its original owner, and Chris Zimmer of the Alaska group Rivers Without Borders doesn’t want another replay of the scenario without a serious cleanup of acid-rock drainage that has poured out of the mine and into the Taku River for decades. Continue Reading →

[Alaska Barrick] Back to Donlin Gold – by Shane Lasley (Mining News – July 2, 2017)

With permitting nearly complete, partners carry out optimization drilling

If this year’s US$8 million drill program is any indication, Barrick Gold Corp. and Novagold Resources Inc. are getting serious about building “the largest pure gold mine in the world” at their Donlin Gold project in Southwest Alaska.

“Donlin Gold’s size, grade, production profile, exploration potential, mine life, community support and jurisdictional safety render it a unique asset in the gold industry,” said Novagold President and CEO Greg Lang. “Both partners envision Donlin Gold to be a pacesetter in the mining sector and are completely aligned in their objectives to optimize the project.”

This will be the first significant field program at the 40-million-ounce gold project since Donlin Gold LLC – equally owned by subsidiaries of Novagold Resources Inc. and Barrick Gold Corp. – completed a feasibility study in 2011 and submitted the project for permitting the following year. Continue Reading →

[Alaska] Miners get busy in elephant country – by Curt Freeman (Mining News – July 2, 2017)

Exploration drilling and field prospecting programs, many of them driven by newcomers, have popped up across Alaska this summer.

The summer solstice has come and gone, but the Alaska mining industry has paid little attention to the decreased amount of daylight because it is high summer in the high latitudes, time to be out completing work programs that have been in the planning since last fall. Exploration drilling programs have sprouted in the Brooks Range, Interior, Alaska Range, Southeast, Southwest and the Alaska Peninsula.

In addition, the sounds of tire-kicking are being heard over a wide area of the state with most of the interest focused on gold, silver, copper, lead and zinc prospects. Many of those thumping those tires are new to the Alaska mining scene, coming to elephant country to look for elephants. We will likely hear more from these new players later in the year.

Equal partners Novagold Resources and Barrick Gold announced a US$8 million budget for project optimization at their 39-million-ounce Donlin gold project. Continue Reading →

Felice Pedroni (Felix Pedro)- Sparked the 1902 Fairbanks Gold Rush – by Thomas K. Bundtzen (Alaska Mining Hall of Fame – 1998/2009)

Felice Pedroni, best known by his Hispanicized alias, Felix Pedro, was an Italian immigrant whose discovery of gold in the then remote Tanana River valley of Interior Alaska, sparked the 1902 Fairbanks gold rush, which resulted in the development of Alaska’s largest gold district, frequently referred to by chroniclers of the day as “America’s Klondike”.

Pedroni was born on April 16th, 1858, in Fanano, Duchy of Modena, Italy, to a family of subsistence farmers. In 1881, following the death of his father, Pedroni arrived in New York City, and eventually assumed the name of Felix Pedro. Pedro traveled across the North American Continent, and worked in New York City, Ohio, Washington State, and British Columbia and Yukon Territory, Canada.

In each locale, Felix would work until he had earned enough money to travel again. Pedro finally reached Alaska sometime in the 1890s, before the 1893 Circle (Alaska) and 1896 Klondike (Canada) gold rushes. The Circle-based Pedro first prospected the Fortymile district near the Canadian border, and then the Piledriver Slough area near present day community of Salcha. Continue Reading →