Archive | Alaska Mining

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

http://alaskamininghalloffame.org/

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 →

Museum offers nuggets of mining history – by Staff (News Miner – June 16, 2017)

http://www.newsminer.com/

http://alaskamininghalloffame.org/

FAIRBANKS – Fairbanks has its roots in gold. When Felix Pedro found gold in Fish Creek in 1902, he and his fellow prospectors laid the groundwork for today’s lively community. Pedro, and the miners who followed him, including those active today, forged a rich history that is captured in the Alaska Mining Hall of Fame museum on First Avenue.

The museum, organized by the Alaska Mining Hall of Fame Foundation, opened in summer 2014 and is located in the Historic Bath House and Oddfellow’s Hall at 825 First Ave., on the corner of First Avenue and Cowles Street.

The two-story building was constructed in 1907. The Alaska Mining Hall of Fame Foundation was formed to honor outstanding individuals who have played important roles in the development of Alaska’s mineral industry. Continue Reading →

Opponents rally against copper prospect they fear could become another Pebble – by Alex DeMarban (Alaska Dispatch News – June 7, 2017)

https://www.adn.com/

Critics of a copper prospect in the Bristol Bay region who fear it could become a smaller version of its giant neighbor, Pebble, have launched an early campaign to stop it.

The so-called Groundhog prospect follows the same geological belt that supports Pebble, the proposed massive open-pit gold and copper mine a few miles to the south. Pebble has bitterly divided pro-development and conservation forces for years.

But unlike Pebble, an Alaska Native village corporation owns part of the Groundhog mineral claims on state land. That’s not enough for opponents, who earlier this week said they oppose any mining in a watershed that supports one of the world’s most important wild salmon fisheries. Continue Reading →

Alaska’s Quiet Gold Rush – by Mike Coppock (True West Magazine – March 1, 2009)

A history of Alaska’s gold rushes reveals riches found in historic mines today.

He said his name was Tommy. In his 60s, he had driven his compact pickup truck from Mississippi all the way to Alaska. Arriving in Homer, he spent nearly $1,000 having the vehicle transported by the ocean ferry Tustumena for Popof Island, nearly 300 miles west of Kodiak.

Popof can be one of Alaska’s most stunning vistas with its emerald grasslands and powerful mountain backdrops. But, not today. Aleutian-style weather had set it. It was late May, and I was amused that I could see my breath as horizontal rain dug deep into my face and clothes. Only my long johns kept me dry.

Tommy was oblivious to the weather or anything else. With the musical draw that defines a Southern accent, he showed me his equipment he had just lugged down from the cliff above. He had set up a sluice operation along a lonely beach just a few hundred feet from the edge of a runway serving as the town of Sand Point’s airport. Continue Reading →

EPA may allow massive mine near pristine Alaskan bay – by Becky Bohrer and Michael Biesecker (Victoria Times Colonist – May 12, 2017)

http://www.timescolonist.com/

The Associated Press – WASHINGTON — The Trump administration settled a lawsuit Friday over the proposed development of a massive gold and copper mine at the headwaters of one of Alaska’s premier salmon fisheries.

The Environmental Protection Agency settled the long-running case with the Pebble Limited Partnership, agreeing to allow the Canadian-owned company to seek a federal permit to build its mine near Bristol Bay.

Pebble sued in federal court over what it claimed was EPA’s collusion with mine opponents to block the project, which a study shows could pose significant risk to salmon populations. A review by EPA’s inspector general found no evidence the agency acted improperly. Continue Reading →

After years of decline, mining appears to be on the rebound in Alaska – by Annie Zak (Alaska Dispatch News – May 8, 2017)

https://www.adn.com/

After several years of decline, Alaska’s mining industry seems to be clawing its way back. With a host of new mining exploration announcements in recent months as many commodity prices recover from a yearslong tailspin, industry experts in the state say more companies are eyeing Alaska as a place to spend money prospecting and developing projects.

“It was a three- to four-year decline,” said Curt Freeman, president of Fairbanks mineral exploration consulting firm Avalon Development Corp. “But the upturn, you could kind of feel it in the last year.”

When commodity prices drop, companies tend to focus their spending on maintaining current operations in places where they already have infrastructure, said Deantha Crockett, executive director of the Alaska Miners Association. Isolated Alaska feels the squeeze even harder, she said, because during tougher times, companies don’t want to spend money exploring such remote areas. Continue Reading →

The Trump riddle: Did the president’s grandfather — or another Fred Trumpf — flip klondike claims? – by Maura Forrest (National Post – May 6, 2017)

http://news.nationalpost.com/

It was the summer of 1897, and word was beginning to filter south that there was gold up in the Klondike. Fred Trumpf got his foot in the door early. By the time the first prospectors landed in Seattle carrying the gold that launched the stampede, he’d already applied for a mining claim near Dawson City, in today’s Yukon Territory. His signature, “Fred Trumpf,” is still clearly visible on the original application, 120 years later.

By the looks of things, Trumpf wasn’t all that interested in digging for gold. On July 8, he split up his claim, which had cost him $15, and sold one half for $400. A few months later, he sold the other half for $2,000, equal to more than $50,000 today.

That September, he did it again — applied for a claim, split it up, and sold for a tidy profit. There’s no evidence he ever did any work on either claim. It’s widely known that Donald Trump’s grandfather — born Friedrich in Germany in 1869 — got his start by opening a gold rush hotel in the Yukon in 1898 and “mining the miners,” as Trump biographer Gwenda Blair put it. Continue Reading →

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

http://business.financialpost.com/

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)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/

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)

http://www.petroleumnews.com/

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)

https://www.adn.com/

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)

http://juneauempire.com/

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)

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/

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)

https://www.adn.com/

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)

http://www.alaskajournal.com/

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 →