The Department of Natural Resources (“DNR”) Division of Mining, Land and Water has issued guidance for placer mining operations to comply with the state’s COVID-19 health mandates. Mining is identified as “critical infrastructure” in the Alaska Essential Services and Critical Workforce Infrastructure Order. Before traveling to their placer operation, and while at their operation, miners must practice appropriate social distancing and comply with Health Mandate 10 regarding interstate travel and self-quarantine, and Health Mandate 12 regarding intrastate travel.
Miners traveling from outside of the state are required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. This quarantine must occur before miners begin to acquire supplies or mobilize their placer operations. Miners who are located in the state and those who have completed the required 14-day quarantine should purchase supplies and provisions in their local home area before traveling to their placer operation. Additionally, if workers are required to travel between communities, a plan must first be submitted to the state outlining how they will avoid spreading COVID-19.