2014 Mine Updates
Wishbone Hill: Usibelli continues to hold an operations permit for the Wishbone project but all work has been put on hold for the time being for several reasons. The coal market has crashed and Usibelli has laid off several of its employees. Additionally, the DNR has asked Usibelli to hold off on moving forward at Wishbone while they ask for more information on their very old permits. Finally, the Office of Surface Mining has issued a preliminary decision indicating Usibelli’s permits expired in the late 90’s and were never properly renewed by the State of Alaska.
We also recently learned that Usibelli no longer has a buyer for the coal as JPower has pulled out of the deal.
Jonesville: While the lease holders, Black Range Minerals, continue to hold exploration and operations permits, they have done very little on the site and are looking to sell their leases.
Chickaloon: Probably some of the best news we have to share is that Riversdale Alaska, the lease holders of the coal exploration site on Castle Mountain has chosen not to complete their third year of exploration and has left the state to focus on other coal holdings. Michelle Johnson, their spokesperson, has confirmed that Riversdale found the geography of the area to be very challenging, and the coal of poor quality. They still hold a lease for 10years, but their intentions are unknown at this time.