The Alaska Miner’s Association annual convention has been going on all week in Anchorage. Coinciding with the AMA’s 75th year, is the 25th anniversary of Kotzebue’s Red Dog Mine.
The success of Red Dog did not come easy, according to NANA Regional Corporation CEO Marie Greene, who was Friday’s keynote speaker. Green said NANA is uniquely positioned to meet development needs of the future.
“Northwest Alaska has many of the minerals that the world will need in the future, and the world is looking North,” Green said. “Climate change, open ocean shipping routes, potential existing mineral development and off shore oil and gas exploration and development are drawing global attention.”
Green says it all began with Red Dog, the mine developed in partnership with Teck – Cominco, but getting the mine started was a long, difficult process. When mining giant Cominco found zinc in the region in 1980, there was opposition to a large scale mine. Lawsuits and counter suits followed, but Alaska Native land claims under new federal legislation enabled NANA to select the lands where the mine is now located.
Since it’s start in 1989, Red Dog mine has provided $1 billion in proceeds to NANA, $608 million to other regions and $199 million to shareholders.