This is a page to provide documentation on mineral exploration and development in our neighborhood.
Area map from 2020 Photometry – Steele Creek Valley to east of Amanita to Ft. Knox
Closer in area map between Steele Creek Valley and Amanita from 2020 Photometry
Alaska State Dept. of Natural Resources
Sept. 9, 2021 DNR leased state land to Avidian to do exploratory drilling, including in the Ruby Creek area. Ruby Creek flows across Esro Road near the turnaround and runs all year. There is concern that drilling may expose additional artesians that add to the flow of water that comes down Ruby Creek in winter, sometimes overflowing our road. More info on these plans that were approved with only retroactive input from the public:
Amanita Project documents provided by an Esro Road neighbor
Google Earth map showing drill sites noted in the Avidian narrative.
Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority
The AMHTA has mineral rights and surface rights to a number of tracts in our area. They operate through the Trust Land Office, contracted to the Alaska Dept. of Natural Resources, under the Resource Management Strategy and in accordance with Alaska Administrative Code 11 AAC 99.020
Avidian Gold Exploration Proposal Between Amanita Road and Esro Road
The Trust Land Office of the Alaska Mental Health Trust received an application from Avidian Gold for an exploration permit adjacent to Esro and Amanita residential properties in August 2020. The Trust Land Office issued a Best Interest Finding in December 2020, with approval or denial following a 30 day public comment period. Area neighbors learned about it and began commenting on the many issues that the Best Interest Decision failed to address. On Jan. 20, 5 days before the comment deadline, the Best Interest Decision was rescinded with notice that Avidian Gold had withdrawn its application.
Leading up to this, with some comments already submitted, there was some press attention on both the Trust Land Office and Avidian Gold.
- Avidian Application
- Best Interest Decision
- Dermot Cole, investigative journalist, article January 18, 2021
- Archive of Fairbanks Daily News Miner article January 20, 2021
- Esro Road Association comments
- Doug and Elizabeth Hanson comments
- Sue Sherif comments
- Darla Theisen comments
- Tom Duncan comments
- James Kowalsky comments
- Response to Commenters Jan. 20, 2021
- Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Decision to Rescind
- KUAC-FM Dan Bross story on Avidian application withdrawal Jan. 21, 2021
- Archive of Fairbanks Daily News Miner article January 22, 2021
- Darla Theisen Post-Decision-to-Rescind comments
- Arctic Audubon Post-Decision-to-Rescind comments
- Amanita Heights Homeowners Association Post-Decision-to-Rescind comments
- It appears that the MHT lands are no longer in play, but DNR has instead leased state land to Avidian. See above.
There have been questions about impacts to water and land from gold mining. Here are a sample of studies that might answer some of those questions.
- National Institute of Health report on Heavy Metal Pollution from Gold Mines published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
- Arsenic and other Environmental Occurrence and Impacts at Gold Mining Sites by Hydro-Geo Consultants, Inc and Moran and Associates.