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Army Corps may not join mine appeal

Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has not decided whether to join Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp. and the state of Alaska in a U.S. Supreme Court appeal of a decision affecting the Kensington Mine's permits.

An Army Corps corporal misspoke a week and a half ago at a Juneau Chamber of Commerce meeting when he said that the agency would participate in the appeal, said Pat Richardson, an Alaska spokesperson for the Army Corps.

The Army Corps national headquarters in Washington, D.C., is responsible for deciding whether to join the appeal and it has not done so yet, Richardson said.

The permits were for the mine's plan to dispose of tailings into Lower Slate Lake. They were invalidated in a lawsuit brought against Coeur and the state by local conservation groups. The plaintiffs charged that the tailings plan violated the Clean Water Act. The court agreed, and the ruling was upheld by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Coeur d'Alene is the parent company of Coeur Alaska, which is working to open the Kensington gold mine, about 45 miles northwest of Juneau.

Environmental groups have said they plan to challenge the appeal.



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