Nanushuk coal deposit
|This article is part of the Global Coal Mine Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor and the Center for Media and Democracy.|
The Nanushuk coal deposit is an unexplored U.S. coal bed site in the Alaska North Slope region. In 2010, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) began working on approval for preliminary coal prospecting permits for a 116,000-acre-area of land just north of the Brooks Range. While a site-specific plan was approved that same year, it was appealed and is still awaiting adjudication. As of October 2019, the project has not progressed in more than four years and appears to be cancelled.
The map below shows the approximate location of the unexplored Nanushuk coal deposit in northern Alaska.
The Nanushuk coal deposits site is situated along the northern foothills of the Brooks Range, in an east-west belt extending from five miles west of Toolik Lake to Banded Mountain, just west of the Anaktuvuk River. They are part of the Northern Alaska-Slope coal province that contains over 150 coal beds, including those at Corwin Bluffs, Cape Beaufort, and along the Kukpowruk River. The coal is primarily bituminous and sub-bituminous. In 2010, the Alaska DNR began working on approval for preliminary coal prospecting permits covering 116,000 acres of land within the Nanushuk Group north of the Brooks Range. This was in response to requests from three exploration companies: Beischer & Associates, Xplore LLC, and St. George Ventures Inc. The approval would grant an exclusive right to prospect for coal, but specific physical activities in the area would be permitted separately. Each coal prospecting permit would have been issued for a period of three years and would have covered up to 5,120 acres. Upon completion of diligent prospecting, the permits might have been extended for up to three periods of two years each, for a total permit duration of up to nine years.
As part of the permitting process, the state performed a "coal potential" evaluation of the area and determined that the coal development potential was "low."
A site-specific plan was approved in July 2010, but has been appealed and is still awaiting adjudication. In February 2011, the Naqsragmiut Tribal Council adopted an official resolution strongly opposing coal exploration within the area and sent a letter to the governor outlining their concerns about impacts on the water, air, and subsistence resources of the area.
- Parent Company: Beischer & Associates, Xplore LLC, St. George Ventures Inc.
- Location: Northern Alaska, United States
- GPS Coordinates: 68.2663691, -152.3557279 (approximate)
- Status: Cancelled
- Production Capacity:
- Total Resource:
- Mineable Reserves:
- Coal type: Bituminous and sub-bituminous
- Mine Size: 116,000 acres
- Mine Type: Underground
- Start Year:
- Source of Financing:
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- Final Nanushuk Site Specific Plan Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Mining, Land and Water, July 22, 2010.
- Nanushuk Coal Prospect Ground Truth Trekking, accessed October 2019.
- Preliminary Decision: Nanushuk Coal Prospecting Permits Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Mining, Land and Water, Mar. 10, 2010.