It would be a benefit to the community if this newspaper took the time to address the full tailings disposal needs of the Kensington project. If Lower Slate Lake ends up being used, where are the rest of the tailings going to go? Lower Slate Lake can only hold 4.5 million tons. That's dinky.
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After the first few years, even if they hold mill production down to 2,000 tons per day, Kensington will need a new tailings disposal site. I quizzed Tim Arnold and Luke Russell of Coeur very pointedly on this subject last summer, and they absolutely refused to discuss their plans. I guess it wouldn't do for people to be thinking about the fact that Coeur very well knows that Lower Slate Lake is too small for Kensington.
The dry tailings stack? Rigorously permitted and engineered. The environmental impact statement and permit vetted. Designed to be built in three cells, as needed. With backfill, Lower Slate Lake can hold maybe 10 years of tailings. The previously permitted dry stack? Forty-six years. Questions? Ask Coeur. They dodged this issue in the EIS process. There are people in the U.S. Forest Service who should hang their heads in shame.
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