Alaska Senator holds up two Biden Pentagon nominees over Arctic mine road

U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan said he wanted more clarity on a proposed road to the Ambler mining district.

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U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) gives a remembrance of Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) as he lies in state in Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC on March 29, 2022. (Greg Nash / Pool via Reuters / File Photo)

WASHINGTON — U.S. President Joe Biden’s nominees for industrial policy and weapons acquisition positions at the Pentagon will see their nomination process stalled, Republican U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan said on Thursday, as he sought clarity on an Alaska mining project.

“Until I get answers, I think both of you are qualified, until I get answers I’m going to put a hold on both your nominations,” Sullivan said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

Sullivan spoke at the nomination hearing for Radha Iyengar Plumb for Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, and Laura Taylor-Kale for Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy.

[A controversial road project in Alaska’s Arctic will get a new environmental review]

Sullivan said he wanted answers on a U.S. Department of the Interior move that delayed the Ambler Mining District Industrial Access Road project.

The Ambler mine project seeks to open a remote area rich in copper, zinc and lead and could yield deposits of rare earths metals used in weapons manufacturing.

Trilogy Metals Inc is one of the companies seeking minerals in the region.