Mineral Resource Development Information
Mineral resource development involves compliance with many state and federal laws, and a complex system of leases and patents. There are also many environemtnal concerns associated with mineral development. Take a minute to learn about the both here.
The purpose of this report is to inform public debate about current and proposed hard rock lode mines in Alaska. Its intent is to help answer the question of what benefits—and liabilities--Alaskans will realize in considering these developments.
This report is a review of available information regarding the mineral resources of Western Arctic Alaska. For purposes of this report, Western Arctic Alaska is defined as the area north of the Arctic Circle and west of 155 degrees west longitude.
This report lays out a framework for evaluating the methods and models used to predict water quality at hardrock mine sites and makes recommendations for their improvement. It is intended to be used by regulators, the interested public, and mine operators and managers.
In Alaska, several large mine projects are currently proposed, ranging from open-pit, hard rock mines to strip mines for extracting coal. These large-scale projects have the potential to impact fish and wildlife resources through alteration or removal of vast areas of habitat. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is responsible for managing fish and wildlife resources for the American public and in carrying out its mission, participates in pre-development activities for industrial projects. This report was commissioned to provide information to the Conservation Planning Assistance branch of the Anchorage Fish and Wildlife Field Office to aid in review of documents required as part of the permit process with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the State of Alaska.
The federal law regulating coal mining is the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA). Under SMCRA, states can take over the permitting and regulation of coal mines within the state by developing a regulatory program in line with federal statute and regulations. Alaska chose this option which resulted in the Alaska Surface Coal Mining Control & Reclamation Act (ASCMCRA). The Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Division of Mining, Land & Water oversees coal mining, from exploration through the reclamation process.
A company wishing to operate a hardrock mine in Alaska must first obtain various federal and state permits and approvals. The Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Division of Mining, Land & Water oversees the process, with the Large Mine Permitting Unit coordinating permitting activities.