Mining

Alaska, BC sign transboundary MOU

This story has been updated with clarification and a comment from Seabridge Gold Inc. Vice President of Environmental Affairs R. Brent Murphy.

Gov. Bill Walker and British Columbia Premier Christy Clark signed a Memorandum of Understanding Wednesday morning committing to cooperation on transboundary issues, particularly related to concerns in Southeast over mines on the Canadian side of the border.

Resource heavyweights gather at momentous time for Alaska

It’s November, and time for the big Resource Development Council annual conference. This year, more than any other, huge issues loom for Alaskans including the proposed $50-billion plus North Slope gas pipeline and liquefied gas project and the state’s fiscal troubles, with $3 billion-plus annual deficits.

All will be discussed at the conference.

Pebble conflict moves to Capitol Hill following latest report

The fight over the proposed Pebble mine at times makes politics look tame.

That impassioned battle resumed on Capitol Hill Nov. 5 when the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology heard from those on the front lines of both sides. The committee also received testimony from former Maine senator and Defense Secretary William Cohen, whose recently published report about the Environmental Protection Agency’s involvement in the matter has once again made Pebble a topic of national debate.

Draft EIS nearly ready for Donlin, in the works for Chuitna

Mining companies involved with several important projects aren’t ready to press the button on construction just yet, but they are positioning things to be ready to go when metals and commodity prices tick up, as they surely will.

One large project being watched closely is Donlin Gold in the mid-Kuskokwim River region west of Anchorage, a potential $6.7 billion surface gold mine.

Miners seek bright spots on horizon

If you look around the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage next week you wouldn’t believe there’s a slump in mining industry.

The Alaska Miners Association holds its annual convention and trade show Nov. 1-7 and the convention’s massive trade show will be of record size, taking all of the convention center’s vast ground floor and a share of the second floor.

About 1,000 people are expected at the convention, said AMA’s executive director, Deantha Crockett. That’s about the same as last year.

Former EPA biologist North’s whereabouts still unknown

Where in the world is Phillip North?

The former Environmental Protection Agency biologist is scheduled to be deposed by Pebble Limited Partnership and EPA attorneys Nov. 12 in Anchorage; however his whereabouts are unknown to both sides.

NANA makes gold strike; work continues amid price slump

Things aren’t great for Alaska’s miners right now, but despite the extended downturn in metals prices some explorers are pressing ahead.

NANA Regional Corp., which conducted its own exploration, announced what it termed a “significant” new gold discovery on state lands on the eastern Seward Peninsula.

However, the overall number of new “grassroots” exploration projects is sharply down this year compared with previous years, and the suppliers and contractors who support explorers are feeling the effects.

State trust appeals DNR decision on Chuitna water reservation

It seems nobody likes the Alaska Department of Natural Resources’ most recent Chuitna mine decision, including a state authority it oversees.

The Alaska Department of Law filed an appeal on behalf of the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority against the Department of Natural Resource’s Oct. 8 decision to grant an in-stream flow reservation, or IFR, to Chuitna Citizens Coalition for the lower section of Middle Creek.

DNR rules on Chuitna water rights petitions

Alaska salmon scored a partial victory on Oct. 6, but PacRim’s coal mine could still happen.

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources granted an instream flow reservation, or IFR, to Chuitna Citizen’s Coalition for the for the lower section of Middle Creek. Middle Creek is part of the watershed for a proposed coal mine, and an integral part of the drainage process necessary to complete the mine.

Only Chuitna Citizen’s Coalition’s IFR for the lower section was granted by DNR. The coalition had also filed IFR requests for the middle and upper reaches.

Cohen Group questions EPA’s Pebble process

Former Maine Senator and Defense Secretary William Cohen agrees with Pebble Limited Partnership on at least one point: the Environmental Protection Agency’s Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment is not an adequate document to replace the federal environmental permitting process.

Pebble contracted Cohen to review the procedure the EPA used to develop the assessment, which is the document the agency has based its Clean Water Act Section 404(c) proposed determination on.

BC, Alaska to draft MOU for mine processes

JUNEAU — The province of British Columbia and the State of Alaska will draft a memorandum of understanding regarding mines proposed for and located in transboundary watersheds in British Columbia, BC Minister of Energy and Mines William “Bill” Bennett and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallot announced Wednesday at a press conference.

Judge blocks Obama administration regulation on waterways

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A federal judge in North Dakota on Thursday blocked a new Obama administration rule that would give the federal government jurisdiction over some smaller waterways just hours before it was set to go into effect.

U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson in Fargo issued a temporary injunction against a the rule that would have given the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers authority over some streams, tributaries and wetlands under the Clean Water Act. The rule was scheduled to take effect Friday.

BC, Alaska to draft MOU for mine processes

JUNEAU — The province of British Columbia and the State of Alaska will draft a memorandum of understanding regarding mines proposed for and located in transboundary watersheds in British Columbia, BC Minister of Energy and Mines William “Bill” Bennett and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallot announced Wednesday at a press conference.

DNR hears arguments for Chuitna tributary water rights

A small creek is causing big trouble for Chuitna mine developers and the Alaska Department of Natural Resources.

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources, or DNR, heard arguments Aug. 21 from Chuitna Citizens Coalition, Cook Inletkeeper, the Alaska Center for the Environment, and PacRim Coal in the latest installment of a lengthy and contentious permitting process for a proposed coalmine in the Chuitna River drainage.

BC minister talks transboundary mine issues

JUNEAU — British Columbia Minister of Energy and Mines William “Bill” Bennett, on a four-day trip to Southeast Alaska, said after visiting the Tulsequah Chief Mine on Aug. 24 that the pollution the defunct mine has been draining into the Taku River watershed for decades should be fixed.

Greens Creek, Kensington mines expanding production

Minerals prices are still low but Alaska’s producing mines are doing well, for the most part.

Two underground mines near Juneau, the Greens Creek Mine on northern Admiralty Island and the Kensington Mine at Berner’s Bay north of the capital city, both showed increases in production and improved efficiency.

Hecla Mining Co., which owns Greens Creek, said production of silver at the mine was up 10 percent in the second quarter of 2015 compared with the same period of 2014.

What will exploration permit ruling mean for industry?

The mining industry is waiting for the Department of Natural Resources to chart a path forward after an Alaska Supreme Court ruling that could change permitting procedures and require public notice for exploration work.

Two months after the ruling in the case over Pebble Limited Partnership exploration permits went against the State of Alaska, it is still unclear exactly what the state will do to respond.

Federal judge allows Pebble case against EPA to continue

Pebble Limited Partnership’s lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency will continue as a federal judge denied the agency’s motion to dismiss June 4.

U.S. Alaska District Court Judge H. Russel Holland concluded that while the EPA may not have established the three “anti-mine” groups as described by Pebble in its complaint — the Anti-Mine Coalition, Scientists and Assessment Team — agency staff could have utilized them to draft the pending determination to block development of Pebble’s copper and gold claims near Bristol Bay.

Judge allows Pebble case against EPA to continue

Pebble Limited Partnership’s lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency will continue as a federal judge Thursday morning denied the agency’s motion to dismiss.

U.S. Alaska District Court Judge H. Russel Holland concluded that while the EPA may not have established the three “anti-mine” groups as described by Pebble in its complaint — the Anti-Mine Coalition, Scientists and Assessment Team — agency staff could have utilized them to draft the pending determination to block development of Pebble’s copper and gold claims near Bristol Bay.

Dismissal arguments heard in Pebble-EPA case

Pebble Limited Partnership and the Environmental Protection Agency argued in court May 28 whether the agency violated federal law in developing the Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment, which is the basis for its effort to block Pebble mine.

The oral arguments on the EPA’s motion to dismiss Pebble’s lawsuit were heard in Alaska U.S. District Court by Judge H. Russel Holland.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Mining