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Australian mining firm explores potential vanadium deposit near Juneau

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Australian mining firm explores potential vanadium deposit near Juneau

was written by Jacob Resneck, CoastAlaska – Juneau , 2019-07-06 02:35:15

be sure to visit their website, source link is at the end of the article

An Australian mining company has applied to the U.S. Forest Service for a round of exploratory drilling for a rare element about 35 miles southeast of Juneau.

Northern Cobalt, Ltd. is looking for vanadium in Southeast Alaska. It’s a rare mineral that has commercial value for use in steel alloys and state-of-the-art rechargeable batteries used in industrial plants and power grids.

A recent promotional video by the mining company touts the economic potential for a “vanadium bearing magnetite system” it says is consistent with many of the economic vanadium deposits currently in production around the world.

The project site is on Snettisham Inlet in the Tongass National Forest southeast of Juneau.

The mine claims are near Snettisham southeast of Juneau in the Tongass National Forest. Recent filings with the Forest Service say the land has no active federal mining claims.

The company’s managing director Michael Schwarz says that makes the site “free ground.”

“I guess the obvious question is, well, if it’s in a vanadium project, why was this free ground?” he said in a video shared on the company’s site, “and the answer to that is that this has in the past been looked at as an iron ore project.”

Exploratory drilling for iron ore occurred in the area as recently as 2012. But a collapse in iron prices scuttled those efforts and the claims were abandoned.

Northern Cobalt flew aerial magnetic surveys in February. Schwarz says an iron ore mine wouldn’t pencil out.

“But if you look at the value of the vanadium in the system, you can see that there is a lot of potential in this project,” he said.

The promotional video touts the region’s access to deep water shipping. And Schwarz says the proximity to a power station would be key for any future mine.

“We are very lucky in this position in that there is a hydroelectric power station within kilometers of the project,” he said. “And the main transmission line runs within one and a half kilometers of the project itself.”

He’s referring to the Snettisham Hydroelectric Project. It’s a state-owned power plant that’s operated and maintained by Alaska Electric Light & Power which buys and resells its electricity to supply Juneau’s grid and other customers including Hecla Greens Creek, a metals mine on Admiralty Island.

The private Juneau-based utility says it wasn’t aware of any interest to tie-in in that region.

“AEL&P has not been contacted about the potential development of a mine in Snettisham Inlet,” company spokeswoman Debbie Driscoll wrote in a short statement.

Now, the U.S. Forest Service is reviewing an application for a drilling permit. Northern Colbalt envisions three bore holes in August. The deepest would be about 1,400 feet.

Agency officials in Washington D.C. declined CoastAlaska’s request for an interview with regulators reviewing the permit application.

But in a statement, the Forest Service said a reclamation bond would be required before drilling is allowed.

“Our biologists and other specialists will analyze the scope of activities to ensure the well-being of involved ecosystems, and require changes or additional mitigation measures to the proposal as necessary,” wrote Forest Service spokesman Paul Robbins, Jr. in Ketchikan.

The Forest Service is accepting public comment on the drilling permit application through July 26.

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A Trip To Alaska

Sometimes the most informative articles does not come from sweeping esoteric investigation but real world reviews showing people and small communities. However, ironically it is sometimes the big institutions offering the fresh and useful anecdotes. Needless to say there is also a role for travel and tourism statistical research or policy analysis. Expert articles about a trip to Alaska such as Australian mining firm explores potential vanadium deposit near Juneau assist us to have a look around the far reaching ideas of sustainable tourism and hospitality.

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A consensus among experts lists highly recommended must see attractions for every body coming to Alaska is

Tongass National Forest. The Tongass is actually the biggest national forest in the United States. It received its name from the Tongass Clan of the Tlingit native people and goes back to 1902 when President Theodore Roosevelt created the Alexander Archipelago Forest Reserve. In 1908 the forest had been re-named and expanded and at present the 16.9 million-acre Tongass National Forest stretches from the Pacific ocean to the great inland ice fields that border British Columbia and from the southern tip of Prince of Wales Island to Malaspina Glacier five hundred miles to the north. Approximately 80 percent of Southeast Alaska is in Tongass and with its thousands of islands, fjords and bays the national forest has 11,000 miles of shoreline. Tongass’ extensive coastal rain forest consists of towering hemlock, spruce and red and yellow cedar. The undergrowth underneath thegiant conifers is composed of young evergreens and shrubs such as devil’s club, blueberry and huckleberry. Moss and ferns cover the ground, and lichens drape many trees and rocks.

Wildlife is abundant throughout Tongass. Sitka blacktail deer and it’s two key predators, wolf and brown bear, are found here. Black bear are common as well as mountain goats and some moose. Marine mammals found along the coast line consist of Dall and harbor porpoises, seals and humpback, minke and orca whales and an increasing population of sea otters. The marine environments teem with fish such as halibut and all five species of Pacific salmon. More bald eagles stay in this area than in any other spot in the world. Even though home to the world’s greatest temperate rain forest, practically fifty percent of Tongass is covered by ice, water, wetlands and rock. It’s most famous ice floe is the Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska’s “Drive-in glacier” since it is merely thirteen miles from down-town Juneau along a paved road. A boat ride through Petersburg or Wrangell brings anyone near the face of LeConte Glacier, the southernmost tidewater glacier on the continent. Just 30 miles north of Yakutat is Hubbard Glacier, the longest tidewater glacier in the world and very easily Alaska’s most energetic. The 76-mile-long glacier has crossed Russell Fjord several times, most recently in 2008. The rip tides and currents that flow in front of the 8-mile-wide glacier are so powerful they trigger Hubbard to calve almost continuously. The Tongass incorporates nineteen wilderness areas, including the 545-sq-mile Russell Fjord Wilderness, as well as Admiralty Island National Monument and Misty Fiords National Monument. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve and the general area around Haines and Skagway aren’t part of the national forest.

a visit to Tongass National Forest in Alaska, the 49th State

Seeing Tongass National Forest in Alaska, America’s icebox