Tim Ellis/KUAC

Recent exploration around the Pogo Mine near Delta Junction has shown promising evidence of more rich deposits of gold nearby. A Pogo geologist told a group of miners and industry officials Friday that more exploration will be needed before company officials can decide whether to expand the operation and develop the resources. But the officials are excited about the potential.

Office of the Governor

Governor Bill Walker is inviting businesspersons from around the state who are interested in boosting trade with Alaska’s largest international trading partner to come along on a China trade mission to be launched in May.  A member of the Walker administration says the governor is especially interested in bringing along representatives of the mining and tourism industries.

Fairbanks, AK -  Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority held a two-day meeting this week in Fairbanks. AIDEA is working on an application to begin the permitting process for an industrial road that would access the Ambler mining district.

The process requires a federal Environmental Impact Statement –that could take years. Mike Catsi is AIDEA’s Business Development and Communications Director. He said the $26.25 million in state funding that has already been spent has gone toward early baseline studies.

Fairbanks, AK -Fairbanks, AK - Tribal leaders and stakeholders representing communities that could be impacted by a proposed 220-mile industrial road gathered in Fairbanks to discuss cultural, environmental and social impacts of the road’s potential construction. The meeting is happening at time when the state is facing difficult budget decisions that could hamper the project.

Fairbanks, AK - The Bureau of Land Management is developing a new resource management plan for the Central Yukon Region.  The plan will apply to more than 16 million acres.

Fairbanks, AK - The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly will consider a resolution Thursday that could prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from retroactively revoking permits within the Borough.  Sponsors are responding to the EPA’s decision this spring to revoke a permit for a controversial coal mining project in West Virginia.

Fairbanks, AK - A group of University of Alaska, Fairbanks Professors will develop an engineering school in Mongolia over the next few years.  UAF signed a contract this spring with the American University of Mongolia in that country’s capital, where the new school will be based.

Heatherdale Resources

A Canadian mining company announced last week that it’s pulling out of a mineral-exploration prospect near Tok due mainly to a lack of investors willing to risk money on such projects. A Fairbanks mining-industry consultant says that problem will hurt a lot of other Alaska mineral-exploration projects this year – and may slow the growth of the industry over the next few years.

Copper Country Alliance

Backers of a proposal to create a state wildlife refuge around Tangle Lakes say they’re not discouraged that they haven’t yet succeeded in their decade-long effort to get the Legislature to act on the proposal. The refuge advocates say they’ll continue the campaign to educate the public and build grassroots support to compel lawmakers to protect the area’s prime caribou habitat and hunting and fishing grounds from being harmed by large-scale mining operations.

Fairbanks, AK - The State of Alaska and University of Alaska Fairbanks sponsored the second annual Alaska Strategic and Critical Minerals Summit in Fairbanks last Friday. Geologists, miners, state legislators and key leaders from the both state and federal agencies and international companies gathered to find out more about the potential to explore and develop Alaska’s minerals and rare-earth elements.  Permitting and energy were key issues this year.