Stoel Rives LLP

The Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources has issued an Order granting a one year extension for mining payments due under Alaska Statute 38.05.210 (Annual Labor) and Alaska Statute 38.05.211 (Annual Rental).

In response to COVID-19, and in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services imposed restrictions on travel both to and within the state of Alaska. Those travel restrictions limited the ability of mining claimants to travel to and access remote mining locations, affecting their ability to generate revenue and perform necessary activities to maintain their mining claims. Pursuant to Alaska Statute 38.05.020(b)(5), the Commissioner’s Order finds that the inability of miners to access their claims is through no fault of their own, but rather through an act of God.

To qualify for the extension, miners are required to submit a written request to the Division of Mining, Land & Water on or before November 30, 2020, stating how the COVID-19 pandemic prevented them from timely performing annual labor, paying cash-in-lieu of labor, or paying rent on their mining interest. The Order does not change the requirement to file an affidavit of annual labor for the current assessment work year. If a miner has requested an extension for payment of cash-in-lieu of labor, they must still file an affidavit on or before November 30, 2020, detailing that a payment for cash-in-lieu of labor is expected to be paid in accordance with an extension requested under the Commissioner’s Order.

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