Research on New Alaskan Mining Technology

Chamberlain, P.G. (USBM)


Abstract As readily accessible ore deposits in this country are mined to depletion, mining companies must turn to deposits in remote, environmentally sensitive regions. Alaskan deposits may well offer opportunities for new production of many important minerals. Bureau of Mines engineers and scientists have begun a research program that features new program that features new technology for mining in Alaska. The program emphasizes efficient extraction of the mineral value while minimizing environmental disruption. Projects on borehole slurry mining, underground placer mining, back filling, rock mechanics/mine design, and mine closure practices are reviewed. Introduction Alaska's unique geographic position and abundant mineral position and abundant mineral resource base make it ideally suited to provide a variety of mineral resources to world markets. Strong Alaskan minerals production would also offer the following benefits:price stability; opportunities price stability; opportunities for environmental stewardship (we must develop environmentally compatible mining operations rather than export environmental problems); and sources of new problems); and sources of new advanced materials. Exploration efforts within the state have already identified commercial mineral deposits. However, much of the state remains relatively unexplored and underdeveloped. Why isn't Alaska yielding minerals according to its potential? potential? P. 251

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