Pebble inks transportation pact with APC
ANCSA village corp. will organize group to manage logistics North of 60 Mining News – July 6, 2020
Last updated 7/10/2020 at 4:32am
Taking another step along the path of establishing a mine at its world-class copper-gold- molybdenum-silver deposit in Southwest Alaska, Pebble Limited Partnership signed a memorandum of understanding with Alaska Peninsula Corp. for providing transportation and port operations support for the proposed project.
Under the agreement, Alaska Peninsula Corp. would serve as the organizer of a consortium of key Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) village corporations in the Iliamna Lake area that would operate all related logistics related to the proposed northern transportation corridor, a roughly 85-mile land-based transportation route would connect the Pebble mine site to Cook Inlet without the need for a ferry to transport supplies and concentrates across Iliamna Lake.
The consortium would manage port operations, maintain the road between the Pebble port and Pebble Mine site, and providing trucking and other logistics services on the northern route. The value of the MOU is expected to exceed US$20 million per year during operations.
"For APC and the other village corporations around the lake, contract opportunities like this are how we can ensure local hire and other direct local benefits from the project while assisting in the safe development and operations of the Pebble project. We want to be at the table with the Pebble team in making good decisions for the region and ensuring our shareholders directly realize the benefits of this opportunity," said Alaska Peninsula Corp. CEO Dave McAlister.
The operation of this logistics chain is critical to the successful development of a mine at Pebble and this MOU is evidence of the strong support these village corporations have provided to Pebble over the past few years.
The MOU envisions the village corporations along the northern transportation corridor playing a significant role in the development and operation of Pebble and ensures full local participation in contracting and employment opportunities related to the mine project.
An agreement signed in 2018 provides Pebble Partnership with right-of-way access across Alaska Peninsula Corp. lands and offers the ANCSA village corporation – a merger of the former village corporations of Port Heiden, South Naknek, Ugashik, Kokhanok, and Newhalen – preferred contractor status on Pebble-related contracts located on its lands. Over the ensuing two years, Alaska Peninsula Corp. has provided a number of contract services to Pebble, which have been key to advancing the project through the Environmental Impact Statement process.
"As we near approvals for our federal permits, it is time to begin laying concrete contractual commitments for construction and operations opportunities," said Pebble Partnership CEO Tom Collier. "The Pebble opportunity is real. We are excited about this opportunity to partner with our long-standing business partners in the area."
The logistics established to support a mine at Pebble will also provide a lower cost means of delivering fuel, food and supplies to the residents of Iliamna area villages, which will significantly reduce the enormous cost of living in these communities.
Collier said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the lead regulatory agency for the Pebble EIS process, has said it plans to release the final EIS on July 24.