Mining ordinance a ‘chicken and egg’ problem

Juneau started as a mining community and continues in that long tradition even today.

 

However, the Juneau Mining Ordinance (49.65.130(b)) says: “The application shall also contain additional information normally prepared by the operator for its feasibility studies and mining plans.”

This requirement creates a chicken and egg problem for an operator not required for any other mine applicant in Alaska. The feasibility study is the last step — conducted after the applicant has all necessary geological and engineering information and permits in hand. The feasibility study is to determine within plus or minus 5-10 percent the engineering cost of building the project.

It is unreasonable to expect a potential applicant for a Large Mine permit to prepare a feasibility study based on what will be required in the final permits to apply for those permits. This chicken and egg problem and the cost of a feasibility study will be an absolute barrier to anyone applying for a mining permit under Juneau’s current mining ordinance. Do we really want to say no to potential jobs and business? Fix the ordinance to make it usable for the industry and safe for Juneau.

Chuck Collins

Juneau

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