Ambler Metals says it’s nearly ready to apply for permit to mine in Northwest Alaska

A bunch of tools and mining equipment on a gravelly mountainside
Drilling at Trilogy Metals Inc.’s copper-rich Arctic Deposit in Alaska’s Ambler Mining District. (Trilogy Metals)

A company doing exploratory drilling in the Ambler Mining District reports it’s preparing to apply for its main federal permit in “early 2022.”

Ambler Metals expects to submit an application early this year to the Army Corps of Engineers for a federal wetlands permit. That’s according to a report one of its parent companies, Trilogy Metals, made to the Security and Exchange Commission on Jan. 11. The application would be for extraction from what’s known as the Arctic Deposit, in Northwest Alaska. Copper is the prime target.

Trilogy says its budget for this year’s fieldwork is $28.5 million, a slight increase over last year. 

A detailed plan isn’t available yet, but the mine will no doubt rely on the proposed 200 mile Ambler Road, which won federal approval during the Trump administration. Environmental groups, Alaska Native tribes and the Tanana Chiefs Conference have filed lawsuits challenging the adequacy of the federal review of the road.

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Liz Ruskin is the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Alaska Public Media. She reports from the U.S. Capitol and from Anchorage. Reach her at lruskin@alaskapublic.org.

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