Support Red Dog

Letter to the editor

March 29, 2010

To the editor:

Iliamna Natives Ltd. would like to applaud NANA/Red Dog Mine for helping our rural community, Iliamna, with the shares of the 7(i) and 7(j) funding received by our village. Red Dog should be recognized and thanked for their hard work and commitment to share the benefits received from resource extraction and mining. 

It saddens us to realize that the environmental interest groups continue to attack Red Dog operations. If the environmental interest group prevails, the 7(i) and 7 (j) funds, as well as contributions to the state of Alaska, will be lost. Red Dog creates jobs for their shareholders. They help fund their schools and communities, and they help all the other regional and village corporations in Alaska with the 7(i) and 7(j) funding. 

INL used the funding provided by Red Dog to help jump start Iliamna Development Corp., our for-profit subsidiary. IDC has worked with the Pebble Limited Partnership during the past four years. Working together with PLP and its exploration of the proposed Pebble mine has created more than 70 jobs for the Lake Iliamna and Bristol Bay communities. 

This cooperative, working relationship has enabled IDC to establish fuel and freight services to the Lake Iliamna communities. We have lowered cost for fuel delivery to the area from $9.25 per gallon to $4.35 per gallon. This enables the communities to become more sustainable, as lower fuel costs reduce the costs of living and enhance rural lifestyles. 

INL also was able to assist the community of Port Heiden by providing some of INL’s money received from Red Dog. These funds were utilized to help with a project that created 30 jobs for Port Heiden. As a result of INL’s assistance, the project was able to return more than $600,000 to the community. This was a big project for small, rural villages that have few, if any, economic opportunities.

We support Red Dog’s continued mining and resource development program, as we know how much it has helped our communities. We wanted to show support for continued resource development in Alaska.

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