Prospectors first discovered gold in the Kensington area in 1887. A number of mines quickly opened and the Comet, Bear, Northern Belle and Kensington mines produced gold until 1901. Technical and management problems caused intermittent operations, and the mines were abandoned by late 1930. Now a proven company, Coeur Alaska, is meeting the scientific environmental standards of today and is willing to take the financial risk associated with reopening the Kensington. Coeur Alaska has reportedly spent $100 million to prove this. Excluding oil, no other business could shoulder this burden of proof and up-front expense.
With permits in place, the appropriate state and federal agencies will monitor the mine. Upon closure of the mine, it will be reclaimed to modern standards again and monitored by state and federal agencies, not left to fill with ground water as it was in 1930.
As an example of responsible modern Alaska mining, Valdez Creek mine was environmentally acceptable with reclamation completed. I challenge you to find its location and where the ore was actually extracted. It is now a beautiful landscape where caribou graze.
I am extremely disappointed to see that SEACC as well as other environmental groups are trying to undermine and delay this project without true merit. The due diligence has been completed; the mine has been studied, analyzed and finally approved. Now that it has, it's time to let Coeur Alaska gain the financial success they deserve as they support Juneau with jobs and the associated tax base.
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