NMA Condemns Biden Administration Unwarranted Project Reversal, Land Withdrawal

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Mining Association (NMA) today released the following comment from Rich Nolan, NMA president and CEO, on the announcement from the Biden administration that it would withdraw 28 million acres in Alaska from mining and drilling, and block the proposed Ambler Road Project, a project that has previously received all of its required approvals.

Nolan commented, “This unwarranted, unreasonable political decision to block the Ambler Access Project – a project already approved by the appropriate federal agencies – and enact a sweeping land withdrawal is a case in point of the Biden administration’s incoherence on minerals policy. While this administration blocks access to American resources that are critically important to building the secure mineral supply chains we need, it is looking overseas and even investing in foreign projects to produce the very minerals we could be mining here at home under world-leading environmental and safety standards. This decision is not only a terrible missed opportunity to reinforce American economic and national security but sabotages a critically important economic opportunity for the people of Alaska.”

New mining operations are already either restricted or banned on more than half of all federally owned public lands. Federal lands account for as much as 86 percent of the land area in certain Western states and these same states account for 75 percent of our nation’s metals production. With key reserves of copper, zinc, rare earths and other metals and minerals essential to modern technology, green energy products and national security, Alaska holds the potential to serve as a vital leg of U.S. domestic mineral resource stability.

The Ambler Mining District is home to extensive deposits of minerals and will be a secure, reliable U.S. supply-chain resource; the Ambler Access Project will create the transportation infrastructure needed to access it. The Ambler Access Project is a responsible project that will support Alaska’s economic prosperity and job growth, while reinforcing U.S. supply chain and national security; it should proceed as planned and approved prior to this unwarranted political 180.

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