Trilogy Metals Inc. has provided an update on the Ambler Access Project (AAP) – the proposed 211-mile industrial-use-only road from the Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects to the Dalton highway.
On 17 May 2022, the US District Courtgranted the United States Department of the Interior’s (the DOI) motion for voluntary remand without vacatur. The DOI had requested the voluntary remand of the previously issued joint record of decision (JROD) that authorised a right-of-way across federally managed lands for the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) and the AAP. Importantly, Judge Gleason also ruled that the Court shall retain jurisdiction over this matter, and the court is requiring that the DOI file a status report with the court within 60 days from the date of the order and every 60 days thereafter. In addition, any party in-volved in this action may move for a status conference upon a showing of good cause.
The DOI had indicated that the remand was necessary because the DOI had identified deficiencies in their analysis of impacts to subsistence uses under ANILCA Section 810 and their consultation with Tribes pursuant to NHPA Section 106.27. They requested a remand in order to supplement the administrative record in these regards.
Now that the remand request has been granted by the court, the company will continue discussions with its partners, including NANA Regional Corporation, Inc., AIDEA, the Northwest Arctic Borough, the State of Alaska and South32 Ltd to determine the impact of the above decision on AIDEA’s proposed plan and budget for the 2022 summer field season activities that were previously announced.
Tony Giardini, President and CEO of Trilogy, commented: “Now that the court has ruled to remand and not, as requested by the plaintiffs, vacate the JROD, we can focus on the upcoming exploration field season at the Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects and AIDEA’s field programme for the AAP. We want to acknowledge the strong show of support that the AAP has received from the Native villages in the Upper Kobuk Region and the Northwest Arctic Borough, that have passed resolutions in favour of the AAP.
“In a recent opinion piece published in the Anchorage Daily News, Tribal Presidents representing two federally recognised tribes from Northwest Alaska stated that “It is critical that the DOI clearly identify the additional tasks and have specific timelines to complete further analysis of subsistence, environmental, religious and cultural impacts of the AAP. And we believe certain fieldwork should be allowed to continue so we do not lose the short season for that work to be done.”
“We are hopeful that the court’s decision to retain jurisdiction over this matter and its stipulation requiring regular status reports to be filed will result in the additional analysis being completed in a prompt time period. Lastly, we recognise that subsistence is a key factor not just in the development of the road but in the development of the Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects which we believe will have significant positive impacts on the local economy through the provision of high paying stable jobs for Native Alaskans, and the production of green metals, such as copper and cobalt which are critical for the decarbonisation of the planet.”
Read the article online at: https://www.globalminingreview.com/mining/19052022/trilogy-metals-provides-ambler-access-project-update/