Coeur mine is a financial risk

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, February 11, 2005

If I was looking into buying stock for my personal portfolio, I wouldn't invest in any Coeur mine. Coeur d'Alene Mines' most recent annual report (2003), which includes information on the Kensington Mine, states that the company incurred losses in the last five years. It hasn't paid dividends since 1996. The company hasn't been a top performer for the mining industry in the past five years either.

In addition to money problems, the corporation's take on environmental risk doesn't inspire confidence in me either. Coeur d'Alene Mines' 2003 annual report says, "There are significant hazards associated with our mining activities, not all of which are fully covered by insurance." Mining has several kinds of risks involved and Coeur has a bad track record when it comes to protecting human health and the environment.

One of the hazards Coeur says it can't get insurance for is any environmental damage. If Coeur d'Alene isn't doing well financially, and they don't have insurance to help cover potential environmental damage, where will the money come from if there is an unexpected problem? I'd like to think that sound management would make the mine safe. But I don't believe our community will be safe when there is no money and no corporate drive to prevent risks to human health and the land and waters near the mine site.

The governor and others keep saying how the mine would be such a great deal for Juneau, but after looking at its financial record, I disagree. All in all, the Kensington Mine sounds like a much higher risk than I'd take with my own money, let alone with Berners Bay, workers' safety, and Juneau's economic health.

Corrine Marks


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