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By Shane Lasley
Mining News 

Hughes reframes Ambler Road question

North of 60 Mining News - March 29, 2024

 

Last updated 3/28/2024 at 2:30pm

"What happens to our communities and Tribal members if a road is not built, and no jobs or opportunity exists for our children and future generations?"

Trilogy Metals Inc. March 26 announced that yet another rural Alaska Native community has passed a resolution in support of the Ambler Access Project – a proposed 211-mile, industrial-use-only road that would connect the mineral-rich Ambler Mining District in Northwest Alaska to the Dalton Highway and global markets.

Hughes Village, which lies about 75 miles southeast of the Ambler District, passed a resolution in support of the Ambler Access Project, as long as access to the road is limited to the mining companies and rural communities in the area.

"This resolution embodies our dedication to responsible resource development and securing a prosperous future for our younger and coming generations," said Hughes Village Chief Thelma Nicholia.

The proposed Ambler Access Project, more widely known as the Ambler Road, would provide a means of transporting metal-rich concentrates to refiners for processing, which is essential for mines developed in the Ambler District.

Ambler Metals LLC – a 50-50 joint venture between Trilogy and South32 Ltd. – plans to develop mines that would produce copper, zinc, gold, silver, and cobalt on its Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects, a 448,217-acre property that covers much of the Ambler Mining District in Northwest Alaska.

Valhalla Metals Inc. is exploring similar copper-zinc-silver-gold deposits on its Sun project that lies along the route of the proposed Ambler Road.

Reframing the road question

Hughes Village believes responsible development of the road and mines in the Ambler District could provide an economic hub for rural communities in this part of western Alaska.

In the resolution, the Tribe of Hughes wrote, "Opponents to responsible and balanced resource development (such as the Red Dog Mine) offer nothing for the future except continued poverty and despair."

Due to the importance of responsible economic development for future generations, the village believes there should be a subtle shift in the narrative for Ambler Road.

"The right question to ask is not 'what happens to our communities and Tribal members if a road is built and mining occurs?' but 'what happens to our communities and Tribal members if a road is not built and no jobs or opportunity exists for our children and future generations?" the Tribe wrote.

This reframing of the Ambler Road question is why Hughes Village passed Resolution No. 24-08 in support of the Ambler Road.

"Supporting the Ambler Road is our way of steering towards a path of economic strength and job creation," said Chief Nicholia. "Our commitment to our community's future is unwavering."

The Hughes Village support for the Ambler Road follows a similar resolution unanimously passed by Ruby Tribal Council earlier this month and another passed about a year ago by the Northwest Arctic and North Slope boroughs.

Author Bio

Shane Lasley, Publisher

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Over his more than 16 years of covering mining and mineral exploration, Shane has become renowned for his ability to report on the sector in a way that is technically sound enough to inform industry insiders while being easy to understand by a wider audience.

 

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