JUNEAU - The Canadian company Redcorp plans to use the Taku River for primary access to its proposed Tulsequah Chief mine, about 40 miles northeast of Juneau, according to a company feasibility study announced Monday.
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Using the Taku as a primary transportation route would eliminate the need for construction of a 100-mile access road from Atlin, British Columbia. The road would have been used by trucks to haul away mineral concentrate.
The feasibility study instead proposed the use of a barge to ship equipment, supplies and concentrate to and from the mine. The barge would be able to operate year-round on the Taku River, according to a press release.
During both the construction and operating phases of the mining operation, materials would be shipped to Tulsequah Chief mine via Juneau. During operations, a barge would haul mineral concentrate from the mine to Juneau to be transferred to a commercial ocean barge service to Skagway.
Redcorp, formerly Redfern Resources, has been working since the mid-1990s to reopen the multi-metal mine, which operated from 1951-57.
In August 2006, an alliance of environmental groups filed a lawsuit to stop the proposed mine, saying it would harm Alaska wild salmon and a Canadian caribou herd. The suit was filed in Canadian federal court against Transport Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
Mine officials said at the time that it had taken the necessary steps to obtain required approvals from the federal government.