Congressman Calls Red Dog 'A Beacon of Hope'

The Red Dog Mine welcomed a special visitor in October, Congressman Don Young (R-Alaska). It was the second trip to the mine for the 20-term congressman. He first visited it before the port facilities and haul road were completed in 1990.

Following the mine tour and lunch, the congressman and his staff overnighted in Kotzebue at the NANA-owned Nullaġvik Hotel, and spent the following morning with representatives from NANA Regional Corp. (NRC) and the Northwest Arctic Borough, including Reggie Joule, its new mayor.

The congressman called the mine “a beacon of hope for development in Alaska.”

“My recent visit to the Red Dog Mine was an incredible experience that allowed me to see first-hand the mine’s impact on the region – and its economy,” Young said.

“I applaud the mine for their commitment to creating local jobs and having such an environmentally sound and technologically advanced project. I believe their topnotch operation is one that mines across the world can learn from,” he said.

Joe Mathis, NDC’s vice president of external affairs, organized the trip to the mine. Mathis, who has known Young for many years, said the visit “reaffirmed Don’s faith that we can develop our resources safely while protecting the subsistence life style of Native people.”

A gallery of photos from the visit is posted on Young’s Facebook page at:

Accompanying Mathis on the visit were Dean Westlake, director, village economic development, NRC; Walter Sampson, vice president, land and regional affairs, NRC; Pete Leathard, senior vice president, oil and gas, NDC; and John Baker, Iditarod champion and NANA shareholder. Wayne Hall, Red Dog’s manager of communities and public relations, led the mine and mill tour.

Red Dog is one of the world’s largest producers of zinc concentrate. Located 82 miles north of Kotzebue on land owned by NANA, the mine is operated by Teck Alaska Incorporated.