North of 60 Mining News - The mining newspaper for Alaska and Canada's North

Pebble Partnership copper gold molybdenum mine project Alaska Northern Dynasty NAK NDM

By J. P. Tangen
For Mining News 

Spring is in the air, let's go mining!

Despite the world's unrelenting tribulations, it's time to break out the yellow iron, move some Alaska dirt and make some money

 

Last updated 5/26/2013 at Noon



Each year about this time, the Sun begins to shine like never before, the rivers rise and the ice melts, the daylight hours grow longer, and miners across Alaska bend their shoulders to their avocation. While it is true that the endless problems we all face don't go away; nonetheless, they seem to take their place as a part of the background noise with which we have to deal while getting on with the real business of life.

Somehow, despite the unending bickering in Washington, so traditional for a lame duck administration; despite the tornados of spring; despite the confrontations in the Levant and the Orient; Alaska's highest priority is to go to work. Looked at in that context, it seems fair to say that now is a good time to be here. Although the price of gold has taken a dip and the Dow waxes boldly, we know in our heart that these developments will change direction soon. What matters is production.

Now is a good time for all Alaskans to step up to the plate and be proud of our mining heritage.

As has been often noted in this column, modern mining is a healthy, safe and environmentally sound industry, and it has been thus in Alaska for a very long time.

Few lost-time injuries occur in Alaska's mines and mortal injuries are truly rare.

Today's Alaska mines simply don't pollute.

Despite all the machinations of the EPA, the Bristol Bay Study has not adduced a shred of evidence that the Pebble Project will harm a single hair on the headwaters of the nearby streams.

The Usibelli mine, adjacent though it may be to Denali National Park, hasn't scared away a single tourist in six decades.

The Red Dog bounds forward leaving a trail of benefits for all.

It is time to be proud of the Alaska Miners Association, as well.

The AMA, under new management, has built a new credibility on a firm foundation, reaching out to its members and others alike, and sharing news of the fiscal benefits that a strong industry produces as well as the needed commodities of a demanding world.

Where could there be a better place to mine than in Alaska? For the benefit of those who haven't checked lately, the AMA's website has been revitalized and the AMA has a new Facebook page.

Even if you are not inclined to pick up a pen and comment on any of the more pressing regulatory impositions that our leaders are imposing upon the heroes of the tunnel and pit, at least you can click on the "Like" link and swell the ranks of the Association's supporters.

Ten thousand likes doesn't seem like too steep a goal to pursue.

As the poet says, "each ounce of dross costs its ounce of gold," but the good news for us, is that the gold comes from our hills and streams.

 

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