The Cold War-era Ross-Adams Mine hasn’t produced uranium for nearly 50 years, and state regulators have been working to have the radioactive site on Prince of Wales Island cleaned up since the 1990s.
The federal government commissioned aerial surveys in the 1950s to find uranium deposits throughout Alaska to fuel the nation’s atomic reactors and build nuclear weapons.
The rock under Bokan Mountain is chock-full of raw materials used to make all kinds of high-tech products: flat panel TVs, electric vehicles, smartphones, missile guidance systems and more.
Ucore Rare Metals says there no timeline for when the plant will be built, but when it is, it will initially employ about a dozen people and eventually about 30.
Murkowski says the Niblack and Bokan Mountain mines could provide stable, well-paying jobs for hundreds of people. But with no roads to either site, workers would have to be boated or flown to and from the mines.