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Ambler Road Project receives final federal authorisations

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Global Mining Review,

Trilogy Metals Inc. has announced that the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) has signed agreements for right-of-ways for the Ambler Road Project with the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the National Park Service (NPS). The agreements grant a 50-year right-of-way on federally owned and managed land by the federal agencies for the future development of the Ambler Mining District Industrial Access Road.

On 23 July 2020, the BLM issued the joint record of decision (JROD) for the Ambler Road Project. The JROD approves the development of the northern or ‘A’ route which is to be a 211-mile-long gravel private access road in the southern Brooks Range foothills to provide industrial access to the Ambler Mining District. Along with the JROD, a Section 404 Permit, which is governed by the Clean Water Act (CWA), was issued by the US Army Corp. of Engineers (USACE) to AIDEA.

On 6 January 2021, BLM, NPS and AIDEA signed right-of-way agreements giving AIDEA the ability to cross federally owned and managed lands along the route for the Ambler Road Project approved in the JROD. The authorising documents with the two agencies are the final federal permits required for the Ambler Road Project.

Ambler Metals LLC, the joint venture operating company equally owned by Trilogy and South32 Ltd, is also continuing discussions with AIDEA on securing a predevelopment funding agreement for the detailed engineering work for the Ambler Road Project.

During the 2020 field season, AIDEA was able to complete initial fieldwork on the proposed Ambler Access Project route which included a light detection and ranging survey (LiDAR) and aerial photography and cultural resource work. AIDEA anticipates carrying out more fieldwork during the 2021 season while following all mandates required by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company also notes that a coalition of national and Alaska environmental non-government organisations (ENGO) have filed a lawsuit against the federal agencies responsible for issuing the JROD. The ENGO’s main position is that due process was not carried out during the permitting of the AMDIAP. Subsequently, AIDEA, and Ambler Metals have filed for and received intervenor status in the lawsuit and will be defending the issuance of the JROD and the permits.

Tony Giardini, President and CEO of Trilogy, commented: “I would like to commend AIDEA for the continued positive progress of the Ambler Access Project which is a critical link in the development of the Ambler Mining District. Despite the difficult times caused by the COVID pandemic, AIDEA and the government of Alaska have demonstrated effective leadership and we expect continued progress on the road during 2021.”

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