Ambler access road ROD pushed out to 2024

24th May 2023

By: Mariaan Webb

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online


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The Department of Interior (DOI) has delayed the release of the record of decision (RoD) for the Ambler road project, which will give access to mineral deposits in north-western Alaska, to the second quarter of 2024 – a six-month delay from the original plan.

Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) executive director Randy Ruaro expressed the organisation’s disappointment at the latest update from the Bureau of Land Management.

“This delay not only impacts AIDEA and our partners with additional costs, but it also impacts individuals, communities, and the state who would like to see the economic benefits, future jobs and revenue that come with construction and operation of the road."  

After a lengthy permitting process, the Ambler access project was awarded a positive RoD in 2020. In 2022, the DOI filed a motion to remand the RoD on the environmental impact statement (EIS) to address areas related to Cultural Resources and Subsistence Matters.  

"We are obviously disappointed to hear the latest status update from the DOI. It has been a year since the court granted DOI's request for a voluntary remand of the permit, providing ample time for the department to conduct the needed supplemental work on the EIS", said Ambler Metals president and CEO Ramzi Fawaz.

"This unnecessary delay threatens a project that will provide much-needed jobs and economic growth for Alaskans, while also strengthening national security and expediting the transition to a clean energy economy that is supposedly a top priority of the Biden Administration.

"Interior needs to stop dragging its feet and complete this process and allow this road to be built, as it is already required by federal law."

Until last week's status report, the DOI had promised a RoD by the end of 2023.

"DOI now states the RoD is expected six months later, with no justification for the delay or assurances that there will be no further slippage," said Fawaz.

The department's next report is due on July 18.

Ambler Metals is a joint venture between Trilogy Metals and South32.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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