The world’s largest source of zinc is located 50 miles from the west coast of Alaska and over 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle at the Red Dog Mine.
Ships loading cargoes have had to deal with the 1:700,000 scale chart 16005 which shows only one depth measurement within 3 miles of the approach to the Delong Mountain Terminal in the Chukchi Sea, however NOAA announced today the issue of nautical chart 16145 which at a 1:40,000 scale, fills in historically sparse depth measurements using new survey data recently acquired specifically for this chart.
“This chart is important to the Arctic economy, providing navigational intelligence for the vessels shipping zinc and lead concentrate from Red Dog Mine and offers vastly more navigational information than the only other available chart of the area,” said Rear Admiral Gerd Glang, director of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey. “The shipping season from the terminal only lasts about 100 days, so maritime efficiency is vital, and this chart will improve shipping safety during that time.”
NOAA notes the terminal uses self-loading barges to ferry the ore concentrates to the deep draft ships anchored several miles offshore.
NOAA says this is their third new Arctic chart issued in the past three years. Chart 16161 (ENC US5AK97) for Alaska’s Kotzebue Harbor were issued in 2012, and chart 16190 (ENCs US4AK8D and US5AK8D) for Bering Strait North were issued in 2013.
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