The U.S. Department of Interior has again postponed the release of a final decision regarding the highly debated Ambler Road, an industrial access to mining in Northwest Alaska.
The proposed road, which would link to extensive reserves of copper, zinc, lead, silver, and gold, has faced numerous challenges due to its location crossing federal land.
Initially, the permits for the road were issued by the Trump Administration, which recognized the long-established need for access to the mining area, particularly for minerals that are key to national security.
Last year, the Biden Administration revoked these permits, citing concerns over inadequate consultation with Alaska tribes and insufficient evaluation of the road’s potential impact on fish and caribou habitats.
The decision was made despite a joint authorization issued in 2020 by the Bureau of Land Management, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the National Park Service.
The project, estimated to cost $799.6 million, holds the potential to yield significant quantities of valuable minerals over its projected 12-year lifespan, including approximately 159 million pounds of copper, 199 million pounds of zinc, 33 million pounds of lead, 3.3 million ounces of silver, and 30,600 ounces of gold.
The next “final” record of decision on the Ambler Road project has now been delayed until the second quarter of 2024, a decision that comes as a surprise, given the Department of Interior’s previous assurance that a decision would be reached by the end of 2023.
The Ambler Mining District access was promised to Alaska under the Alaska National Interest Land Conservation Act (ANILCA) in 1980. The federal government has repeatedly reneged on the promise. In 2022, the Bureau of Land Management’s approval delays led to a shorter field season, resulting in job losses.
The 2023 field season was expected to build upon the past, since delayed approvals and continue with crucial field studies, permitting, and data collection. To progress the pre-development work, the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority Board has approved $44.8 million of the $70 million budget.
The Ambler project is of strategic importance, as it supports America’s national defense efforts and reduces reliance on mineral imports from China, according to AIDEA Executive Director Andy Ruaro. By developing domestic critical minerals production, the United States can lessen dependence on China, which has few pollution requirements and seeks to control and dominate critical mineral supplies similarly to how OPEC controlled oil in the 1970s.
Here’s a thought: All Ambler residents should go to Delaware and block the streets in front of Biden’s beach house for a month, so he knows how much fun that is.
Just as Xi ordered him to
Let’s be realistic, Biden, Haaland, Peltola will NEVER allow any extraction of resources across the nation. Their lackey Murkowski will never follow through and fight. In order for Alaska to have any economic growth conservatives must control the executive and both houses. The Democrats will NOT change their stripes even if it means the literal destruction of the country. Not being able to extract strategic minerals WILL cripple our ability to field modern weapons. China and Russia knows this.
Actually, NM, Haaland’s home state is doing quite well getting federal permits for oil, natural gas and mining. Dan Sullivan reported that half of all permits issued for doing this on federal lands the last two years went to companies doing resource extraction in NM. Haaland (and Peltola) is busily installing tribalism as a governing model, a bad one. Cheers –
Are the incoming “workers” still paused and massing peacefully at the the southern border or are they being quickly, painlessly transported by any yet remaining means into the middledest of middle America awaiting signal to “begin”? Enquiring minds would like to know wouldn’t they? ;*)
Wow the government lied to us. We should just build it.
Of course it has been delayed! Biden and his ilk will do anything to hurt our state and Peltola and her ilk will help him. Vote him AND her out.
This road is ill-conceived. If there are enough minerals to be produced, economics make a port on the Arctic Ocean coast viable. Trucking to Valdez is uneconomical. Think Red Dog. That mine didn’t need a road to the Dalton. Because a road west to an ocean port made fiscal sense. Same here. If access is needed to support exploration, then make an ice road from the coast.
You know Josh, I am really tired of everyone telling us that we can not build a road here, there or everywhere. Anywhere in the lower 48 even abandoned phone booths have a road to it. Our infrastructure is pathetic and these clowns are determined to keep us from reaching our potential, by denying the very access by road, they take for granted in their home state. Maybe since the access was part of a negotiated contract (ANILCA) and the feds have reneged since 1980, as a state we have the right to pursue it without their blessing because of the obvious breach of contract.
Red dog is ice bound 7 months a year. It’s extremely expensive to have mined ore stored of that period of time. Our country is low on nearly every variety of metal at he moment. Build the damn ambler road. Never mind the 2500 Alaskan mining jobs that go with this road or the overland Acess of supplies for those communities out there. Enough already josh. Wonder where you live?? Ice roads cost about $100.000 a mile to build and maintain over a winter. That thought is insane.