To the editor: The planets lined up recently (Mike Dunleavy and Donald Trump — temporarily, in a political sense) for the large scale mining industry. Now, with the help of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, they are making a forced fast march to take the prize — a private road to their private mother lode in Ambler.
Shorten the comment periods on the Bureau of Land Management environmental impact statement! Get the Trilogy Mining “A” team to win hearts and minds after the BLM scoping meetings are over! Tell ‘em what they want to hear! (Although no one bought into the spin when BLM met in Tanana — the mining lobbyists just left the community hall quietly recognizing the strong opposition locally to their project.)
The proposed Ambler Road options A, B and C are all bad. All introduce a witch’s brew of chemicals and ore concentrate dust along a long swath and many watercourses. With the exception of one community, all residents affected oppose it. It impinges on places with incomparable subsistence and wildlife values. It has no mention of how this harebrained idea will be monitored for environmental contaminants over its 50- to 100-year lifespan. It’s a rush job, and it stinks — all to benefit some shareholders who live elsewhere.
While there might be a safe and environmentally sound way to extract this copper at some future date, we are sure not there yet. BLM already had to send them back after their first proposal in 2016 lacked a bunch of key things that a project of this magnitude should have, and this attempt is equally sloppy.
Write BLM and tell anyone you know who cares or has influence over the process what a rotten idea this quick land grab is. If the mining industry really gave a you-know-what, it would have offered something of substance on how to extract the ore without detriment to all the rest of us and not this overnight sensation.
So AIDEA wants to get its project approved? Get people’s real support by taking the time to truly address concerns. Stealing a march just pisses people off, every time.