Doyon’s Relationship with AIDEA and Ambler Road
The Ambler Road or Ambler Access Project is a proposed 211-mile new industrial road that would begin on the Dalton Highway and travel west to the Upper Kobuk region of Northwest Alaska and the Ambler Mining District. AIDEA’s preferred route crosses an estimated ten to twelve miles of Doyon land near Evansville. AIDEA will need permission from Doyon to cross Doyon’s private property.
In October 2023, the Bureau of Land Management issued a supplemental environmental impact statement as part of the process for issuing a permit for the road across public lands. At its October Board meeting, the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA), the project sponsor, committed to spending $6.95 million for work on Ambler Road in 2024.
Doyon has been an involved and vocal stakeholder in the development of the road. While Doyon has not supported the Ambler Road, Doyon has advocated to the project proponents of the road that Doyon shareholders and villages most impacted by the road must also have the opportunity to benefit from it, should the road be developed. At this point, Doyon has not meaningfully engaged in a discussion about crossing Doyon lands as a right-of-way for the project.
Doyon has offered pointed criticism of both the project and its proponents in public comments. Most recently, Doyon notified AIDEA that the formal three-year land access agreement in place to allow AIDEA and its contractors the opportunity to work and gather background data on Doyon lands using non-intrusive methods would not be renewed after its expiration in early 2024.
The non-renewal of the land agreement is a direct outcome of the challenged relationship between AIDEA and Doyon. Despite many conversations over the past ten years, Doyon notes the lack of commitment by AIDEA or project proponents to ensure that the impacts of the project or the mining district are mitigated by the benefits to our corporation and its shareholders. Further, Doyon will not consider any type of agreement with AIDEA while Doyon is currently in litigation with AIDEA on other business agreements.
For those interested in learning more about Doyon’s involvement in Ambler Road, here is the July 2022 update on Ambler Road.