Summer Plans at UKMP Pending as Response to COVID-19 Evolves

In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, NANA and Ambler Metals are working to determine how a summer field season at the Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects (UKMP) may progress while protecting communities and balancing job opportunities for residents of the region.

As partners, we are evaluating several options, including a delayed season start date in July or August rather than the standard season start in May. Given the far-reaching economic effects of COVID-19 and the measures required to prioritize health and safety, there will be a reduced project scope and fewer jobs than originally planned.

“The 2020 summer field season will be different than we expected,” said Darryl Steane, interim president of Ambler Metals. “However, we remain committed to our partnership at the UKMP.”

On April 22, the Northwest Arctic Borough extended the hunker down order for the region through May 19, and village travel mandates and restrictions are still in place. NANA and Ambler Metals will continue to track and evaluate these and other federal, state and local orders, working with the communities in the coming weeks to determine the best and safest way forward.