Donlin Mine nabs two major permits at Army Corps signing

first_imgDonlin Gold’s general manager Andrew Cole (right) signs the permits with Colonel Michael Brooks (left), district commander for the Army Corps of Engineers (Photo by Krysti Shallenberger/KYUK)A huge proposed gold mine in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta cleared a major hurdle on Monday, Aug. 13.Listen now“The spirit of this joint record of decision is about everyone coming together and working together and coming up with a quicker decision,” David Hobbie, of the Army Corps of Engineers’s Alaska District, said.Hobbie and other top federal officials joined representatives from the mining industry and Native Corporations at their Anchorage office to commemorate the occasion.It took six years of environmental review, but Donlin Gold has finally received two major permits from the Army Corps and Bureau of Land Management. Donlin is trying to develop one of the biggest gold mines in the world.Because the mine will impact thousands of acres of wetlands, it needed a permit from the Army Corps. The plans also include a 315-mile-long gas pipeline, which crosses over federal land run by the Bureau of Land Management. So it needed a permit from them as well.And for two Native Corporations, the permits means the Y-K Delta could get more jobs. Andrew Guy is the CEO of the Calista Regional Native Corporation, which leased the subsurface rights to Donlin Gold.“This is one of those steps that we need in order to improve conditions we have out in the region,” Guy said.But Donlin faces growing opposition from Y-K Delta tribes. Nearly a dozen have passed anti-mine resolutions in the past two years.The tribes fear the mine would damage their subsistence lifestyle. And they fear a mine accident could contaminate the Kuskokwim River, a vital food source.The Orutsaramiut Native Council and the local working group, the Yukon Kuskokwim River Alliance, oppose the mine. They released a statement Monday saying the permitting process left out many voices from the region.But Andrew Guy says their concerns have been heard throughout the process.“We are involved in subsistence too with our own families, so that’s a very valid concern that we’ve always kept in the top of our heads,” Guy said.The gold mine needs at least one hundred permits before it can start mining. Donlin Gold says they plan to get the major ones out of the way this year. The rest of them could be completed in two years.last_img read more

Analysts Congress Resistant to Housing Assistance Programs

first_img Share in Data, Government, Secondary Market Analysts: Congress Resistant to Housing Assistance Programs February 7, 2013 423 Views center_img Coinciding with Wednesday’s “”House committee hearing””: on the “”Federal Housing Administration””: (FHA), “”Keefe, Bruyette & Woods,””: a boutique investment firm, released its predictions of what actions the government is and is not likely to take to further assist the housing market. [IMAGE]Generally speaking, “”any large program expansions which require congressional approval are, in our view, not likely to go far,”” said Brian Gardner, SVP of Washington research at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. The government’s two flagship housing programs introduced in 2009, the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) are set to expire at the end of this year. HAMP and HARP have assisted 1.4 million and 1.8 million homeowners, respectively. [COLUMN_BREAK]President Obama has already expressed his support for expanding government refinance programs, but thus far Congress has resisted. Obama proposed expanding access to refinancing through FHA, a program that would draw funding through a tax on banks. He also proposed a program to allow borrowers whose loans are not backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac to refinance through the GSEs. Both programs required congressional approval, and both programs were denied. Gardner suggested FHA’s current financial state “”makes it almost impossible politically that it would be a vehicle for any mass-refi program.”” However, Gardner does not anticipate the FHA will require a draw from Treasury this year. Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-California) and Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey) introduced the Responsible Homeownership Refinancing Act to extend HARP for one year and expand eligibility. The bill was held up in Congress last year, but Gardner believes the senators will push for its passage again this year. “”While we think there is a modest chance that Menendez-Boxer may pass the Senate, we think chances of the bill passing the House are quite low,”” Gardner stated. According to Gardner, housing market assistance measures that can be passed without congressional approval have the best chances of being implemented. Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Barack Obama FHA HARP Investors Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Lenders & Servicers Politics Service Providers 2013-02-07 Krista Franks Brocklast_img read more