Analysis of Bethel, Kivalina (Red Dog), and Omalik Lagoon as Port Sites for Use by the Mineral Industry.
To aid the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in their resource development navigation study, the U.S. Bureau of Mines examined the potential for mineral development near 10 Alaska port sites. This report presents the results for Bethel, Kivalina (Red Dog), and Omalik Lagoon. The mineral deposits near Bethel are primarily gold and mercury; the nearest deposit is 55 miles away. Because of the expense of constructing and maintaining a road over the poorly drained lowlands, the potential of Bethel as a port site in the near term is considered low. The Kivalina site currently serves the Red Dog Mine and has the potential to handle material for similar deposits in the area. Results from a lead-zinc mine model indicate that potential for additional mine development exists in the area. Coal is the major deposit type found near the Omalik Lagoon site. Owing to environmental constraints, development of a large-scale mine producing coal for export is considered unlikely. A small- scale coal mine model was used to examine the feasibility of producing coal for regional use. This alternative may be feasible but would require conversion of heating and/or generating equipment in the area.