In advance of building a processing complex in Ketchikan, Ucore reached a deal with Vital Metals to supply rare earth elements from its Canadian mine.
While rare earth elements can be found throughout the world, including in Alaska, most of the world’s production takes place in China, putting the supply chain for hundreds of products—as well as significant defense applications—at risk.
Quite a number of advanced-exploration and development projects are underway—some at existing sites and some at newly discovered areas—that may bring even more mines to fruition in the near future.
In August, a joint Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and US Army Corps of Engineers Federal Record of Decision (ROD) was handed down to Barrick Gold Corporation and NOVAGOLD Resources, who jointly own Donlin Gold.
Although the Alaska mineral industry is in better health in 2018 than it has been in the last five years, the spirited recovery that was in progress in the first quarter of the year turned into a dead-cat bounce, a minor unsustained recovery after a long down trend extending back to 2012.