The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is expected to reach a decision on the Ambler road project, which will give access to mineral deposits in north-western Alaska, by late next year, exploration and development firm Trilogy Metals reports.
Trilogy, in a joint venture with South32, is active in the Ambler mining district, which is home to some of the richest known copper-dominant polymetallic deposits.
The proposed 340 km industrial-use only road will link the Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects to the Dalton highway.
The comment period for the scoping process of the supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) closed on November 4 and the BLM is evaluating whether any additional impacts to fish and caribou should be more thoroughly assessed.
Trilogy states that the BLM currently anticipates publishing a draft SEIS during the second quarter of 2023, which will be open for public comment. A final SEIS, conducting final pre-decision consultation with Alaska Native Tribes, will happen in the fourth quarter of 2023.
The Department of Interior’s (DoI’s) BLM in February filed a motion to remand the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) and to suspend the right-of-way permits issued to the Alaksa Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) for the Ambler access project.
The suspension of the road permit was meant to allow for additional supplemental work on the FEIS.
In mid-March 2022, the BLM and the DoI suspended the right-of-way grant and the RoW permit to AIDEA relating to the Ambler access project over federal land while it conducts further analysis and consultation.