Red Dog Mine
in the Northwest Arctic Borough
- Area Type
- Place of Interest
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 Department of Labor Estimate
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
- Borough/Census Area FIPS Code
- Place FIPS
Election, Recording, and Judicial Districts
- Senate District
- House District
- Judicial District
Facilities and Amenities
Geography and Climate
- Red Dog Mine is located in the DeLong Mountains north of Noatak, about 90 miles north of Kotzebue and and 55 miles inland from the Chukchi Sea. It is in the Northwest Arctic Borough.
- Community Map Available
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
- The area experiences a transitional climate zone. Temperatures average -21 to 15 °F during winter and 40 to 60 °F during summer. Temperature extremes have been recorded from -59 to 75 °F. Annual snowfall averages 48 inches, with 10 to 13 inches of total precipitation.
History and Culture
- Now the world's largest zinc concentrate mine, Red Dog was first discovered in 1953 when pilots and geologists noted mineral staining the area. The U.S. Geological Survey began formal documentation in 1970 and coined the name Red Dog Creek after long-time pilot and miner Bob Baker's company Red Dog. Baker's rusty red dog frequently flew with him as he traveled the Northwest area. The Native regional corporation (NANA) became interested in selecting the land at Red Dog in 1976. With the 1980 passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, the Red Dog lands were chosen formally by NANA Regional Corporation. In 1982, NANA shareholders signed an agreement with Cominco American regarding development of the deposit. The state agreed to invest in and take ownership of a road to the coast through Cape Krusenstern National Monument and a shallow water dock and staging area at the port site. Construction of the road, port, and mine site began in July 1987. With a total capital investment of $414 million, operations and production began in December 1989. In 1998, Cominco Alaska increased production to 1.2 million tons of concentrate. In July 2001, Cominco Ltd. merged with Teck Corporation to form Teck Cominco Ltd., but the name was changed again in April 2009 to Teck Resources Ltd.
- There are no housing units at Red Dog; all workers live in group facilities. The majority of the employees are Inupiaq shareholders of NANA Regional Corporation.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- There is a 55-mile gravel road from the mine to the shallow-water port for staging and exporting zinc and lead ore. The port is ice-free only 100 days a year. The port and road are state-owned. Barges deliver supplies, fuel, and equipment each summer. A private asphalt/gravel lighted runway, operated by NANA Regional Corporation, is available.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection