Whats Up in Alaska? Matt Ganley VP Resources and External Affairs Bering Straits Native Corporation
Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act 1971 (ANCSA)• Settled aboriginal land claims for Alaskas Native groups.• Provided a monetary ($962.5M) and land based settlement (44 million acres).• Established 12 land-based regional corporations and over 200 village corporations.• 78,000 Native Alaskans are enrolled in the corporations.• ANCSA also mandated a profit sharing plan for all regional and village corporations (Section 7(i)).
7(i)• “… 70% of all revenues received by each Regional Corporation from the timber resources and subsurface estate patented to it pursuant to this Act shall be divided annually by the Regional Corporation among all twelve Regional Corporations ….” 43 U.S.C. § 1606(i).• Each Regional Corporation distributes 50% of 7(i) distributions to its Village Corporations and to its at-large shareholders, pursuant to ANCSA §7(j)
7(i) Rationale Section 7(i) "was intended to achieve a rough equality in assets among all the Natives. . . . (The section) insures that all of the Natives will benefit in roughly equal proportions from these assets. . . . Congress required that 70 percent of all revenues from the development of timber and subsurface resources be distributed among the Regional Corporations.” Chugach Natives, Inc. vs. Doyon, Ltd., 588 F.2d 723 (9th Cir. 1978)
Development on Alaska Native Corporation Lands• For the first decades after ANCSA, most corporations played a passive role in exploration and mining.• History with development within regions varied.• Extractive industry proposals on Native corporation lands are subject to all federal and state environmental compliance requirements.
BSNCs Land Base and Mineral Development History• Weve been a passive partner in the exploration of our ANCSA mineral estate.• Basic exploration and option to lease agreements have been executed with major and minor companies, beginning in the early 1980s.• The mineral potential of the region is well known, historically (gold, silver, tin, uranium, thorium, beryllium, molybdenum, a nd REE potential).
Obstacles to Development• Remote, arctic setting.• Short exploration season.• Limited/nonexisitent transportation and energy transmission infrastructure.• High costs and long supply chain.• Energy costs prohibit ventures.• Skilled labor and management shortages.
Rock Creek: a mine that almost was--and may yet be--productive• Alaska Gold Co., a subsidiary of NovaGold, began construction of the mine in 2006.• A large area of BSNC mineral estate was contained within the development block.• Untimely legal challenges, some poor management decisions, significant cost overruns, and the economic downturn of 2008-2009, ultimately forced the mine into maintenance and standby mode beginning in 2009.
Reclamation or Restart?• In the spring of 2011 Nova began plans for reclaiming Rock Creek.• BSNC entered negotiations with AGC/Nova regarding the reclamation plan.• At the beginning of November, 2012, Nova, AGC and BSNC finalized an agreement--
BSNC Purchases Alaska Gold Company.• Rock Creek mine facility,• All patented claims held by AGC in the Bering Strait area,• Significant real estate within the City of Nome,• All material sources (gravel and sand) in the region,• The reclamation bond is transferred to BSNC.
Challenges Ahead• “Go” or “No-go” decision for embarking upon the Nanuuq Gold Project.• Capitalization of mine start-up.• Development of a region-wide multi-year exploration program.• Lobbying for transportation infrastructure improvements.• Maintenance of work force.• Value-added products from mining.
Matt GanleyVP Resources and External AffairsBering Straits Native Corporation4600 Debarr RoadAnchorage, AK firstname.lastname@example.org(907)344-7212 Office(907)632-7197 Mobile