I am a senior at Juneau-Douglas High School. I'm a runner and love to explore trails and other wild places around Juneau. Right now I'm worried about one of these wild places: Berners Bay.
I do not see the benefits of the present Kensington Mine proposal. Coeur Alaska, the developers, already have a mine plan that has been approved (they received all needed permits in 1998) on the Lynn Canal side of Lions Head Mountain, yet they are now promoting a different proposal in Berners Bay. This new proposal is cheaper, but it ruins a wildlife-rich area. I am not against mining, but choosing a plan just to save money when a more environmentally friendly option is available does not seem like a positive option. It means we trash a beautiful spot that does not need to be damaged.
Coeur decided in 1998 that the Lynn Canal plan would not be profitable because the price of gold was not high enough. They said that to run the Lynn Canal mine proposal, gold would need to be above $400 per ounce. The price of gold is currently close to $420 per ounce, which makes the original proposal now a profitable one for the company. Now, however, this is not good enough; Coeur wants an even more profitable mine at Berners Bay's expense.
The company is the only one who makes more money off of this plan. The present Berners Bay proposal does not provide more jobs or more money for Juneau than the original Lynn Canal proposal. This is a lose-lose situation for Juneau.