Mine Alternative B is safe, economical option

Posted: Wednesday, February 25, 2004

I urge the citizens of Southeast Alaska to voice their support of Alternative B of the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) of the Kensington Gold Project. As the most economical, yet environmentally safe alternative, Alternative B has distinct operating advantages that enable the Kensington Project to offer the citizens of Southeast Alaska the highest creation of wealth of all the alternatives.

It is the task of our government, and thus of this DSEIS, to provide an alternative that protects our environment while providing the highest degree of wealth and resultant rise of the living standards of all its citizens. The only true definition of wealth that exists in any economy is human labor. No other definition exists. Gold, oil, fish, timber, and currency itself are only placeholders and storage mediums of any society's true wealth. Governments redistribute wealth. They create next to nothing of it. This is a fundamental axiom of any economy and any society. Jobs are wealth.

With the adoption of Alternative B Coeur is placed in the advantageous position of being able to create an estimated 325 high-paying construction jobs and provide an annual estimated ongoing payroll of $16 million. In addition, 180 additional indirect jobs will be created and 7.5 million dollars of direct local purchases will be made. This is wealth.

Every one of these payroll dollars will "roll" through the local economy 10 times. That's not my estimation, it is what the U.S. Federal Reserve uses as its estimate when it "creates money" by injecting banking reserves into our economy.

Let's be very conservative and use a multiplier of five, assuming not every payroll dollar gets redistributed. This means $80 million will multiply it's way through our local economy every year creating more jobs, building schools, firehouses, police and public protection services, hospitals and health care services, safe roads and the dream of home ownership and college for ourselves and our children that might not otherwise exist. These realities come about through the creation of true wealth. This project creates that wealth.

With Alternative B, Coeur has met applicable water quality standards, reduced overall wetlands disturbance by 91 acres, significantly reduced energy requirements and air emissions (no requirements to de-water tailings) and improved access reliability and transportation safety. Let us help them help ourselves. Support Alternative B. Create wealth.

Robert B. Tonkin


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