Riversdale Puts Chickaloon Coal Prospect On Hold

Riversdale Alaska is mothballing its plan to mine coal in the Chickaloon area. The Australian-owned mining company is turning its sights on coal prospects in Alberta, Canada, instead.

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Riversdale Alaska, the Australian – owned mining company,  is turning its sights on coal prospects in Alberta, Canada, while putting exploration work on its Chickaloon leases in the Matanuska Valley aside for the time being.  Riversdale Alaska spokeswoman Michelle Johnson confirms that Riversdale continues to hold it’s Alaska Mental Health Lands Trust coal leases in Chickaloon, although exploration on the leases is postponed indefinitely.

Johnson says that the geology at Chickaloon is “challenging”, and that the company is waiting until reports from its 2012 and 2013 exploration seasons are released before it will make a decision on whether or not to continue.

 Riverdale Alaska President Russell Dann was not available for comment for this story. 

 Riversdale acquired the Alaska coal leases in January of 2012, and began exploration efforts that summer. Exploration continued during the 2013 season. The leases cover close to ten thousand acres of land. Riversdale paid three million dollars for the leases. The Mental Health Lands Trust is to receive a five percent royalty of the gross value of any coal mined and sold from the lease land.

 Jamey Duhamel, program director for the Castle Mountain Coalition, an anti-coal organization, says Riversdale’s latest move is welcome news for Chickaloon residents

“I know that for two years they have been exploring in that area, and they have never found that Eureka! moment, that we are aware of. We have been anticipating this for a long time. “

 Duhamel says Chickaloon residents are concerned about coal mining’s effect on their health and quality of life.  Riversdale Alaska spokeswoman Johnson says the company is eyeing coal leases at Crow’s Nest Pass, on the Alberta, British Columbia border, because that area is further along in development.







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APTI Reporter-Producer Ellen Lockyer started her radio career in the late 1980s, after a stint at bush Alaska weekly newspapers, the Copper Valley Views and the Cordova Times. When the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound, Valdez Public Radio station KCHU needed a reporter, and Ellen picked up the microphone. Since then, she has literally traveled the length of the state, from Attu to Eagle and from Barrow to Juneau, covering Alaska stories on the ground for the AK show, Alaska News Nightly, the Alaska Morning News and for Anchorage public radio station, KSKA elockyer (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8446 | About Ellen

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