The MSB Manager, in his most recent Manager’s notes (which are dated March 10th but only released on the MSB website on March 17th), finally gave out a tiny bit of information about a mining project or potential mining project in the northern part of the borough.
The manager writes that he and Assembly member Ted Leonard met with AIDEA staff on Feb 28th to discuss an “economic/mining project west of the Susitna.” And he reveals that “Nova Mining” has requested to be a partner which may require an MOU. He also states that “Rio Grande” a railroad developer “would like to begin discussions on a rail to Port MacKenzie from West Susitna.”
Notice the complete lack of detail about what type of “economic/mining project” this is, so we are left to guess. Is is coal? Gold? Some other metal?
Also, it seems a little bit disingenuous to say that Rio Grande would “like to begin discussions” when it is clear that the discussions are already well underway as RIO GRANDE is a member of the “working group” that was set up in 2019 for the West Susitna Access project as pointed out by this blog last month. The MSB needs to release all documents and meeting minutes from this working group.
As longtime MatsuMuckraker readers know, the MSB has been meeting with AIDEA for many months now and the MSB has already pledged 50K and seems to have signed an MOU with AIDEA re: the West Susitna Access project. https://matsumuckraker.com/2020/02/19/more-info-on-the-fish-creek-access-project-aideas-involvement-but-the-potential-private-funders-remain-a-secret/
Also – I can’t find them quickly, but other public records obtained by the MatsuMuckraker over the years (such as credit card statements and staff reimbursements) show that the MSB has been having meetings with Nova Mining reps for a few years now – all behind closed doors.
There are a couple of companies named NOVA doing mining in Alaska.
One is NovaGold.
NovaGold is an owner of the new Donlin Gold mine:
The manager’s two paragraphs in his Notes to the Assembly on the “economic/mining project” do represent a tiny bit of progress on the transparency front. Mr. Moosey finally has revealed two potential business partners and he is pledging that any future MOUs will be brought to the Assembly for approval. (The MatsuMuckraker wonders whether or not he was taken to task by any of the Assembly members for negotiating/signing the recent MSB-AIDEA MOU without Assembly disclosure or approval.)
The Manager and Assembly Member Leonard ought to make a detailed presentation about the potential mining project at the next Assembly meeting so that the public can weigh in and the Assembly can vote on whether or not they want the MSB to go forward with such a project.