Now that all petitions for a rehearing before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' full panel of judges have been submitted regarding the permit to deposit tailings in Lower Slate Lake, the Court has ordered the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council to respond to all petitions filed by the Department of Justice, Goldbelt, Coeur Alaska and the State of Alaska - an action the Court is required to do if it intends to grant the petition for a rehearing.
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While this is no indication that the results will change, it does mean that the conflict rages on. Regardless of what is happening in the courts, we believe it is time to end the standoff, as only the attorneys are benefiting while Juneau is losing.
Goldbelt has always supported the Kensington Mine, because the mine provides jobs for our shareholders, a real opportunity to economically develop Goldbelt-owned land at Cascade Point, and more than adequate environmental protection. Such development will provide income to the Corporation, and long-term, it will provide better access to recreation in Berners Bay for everyone in Juneau.
The only "return" we have received so far is to have our expectations indefinitely postponed, all due to the efforts by SEACC and their partners, the Sierra Club and Lynn Canal Conservation.
SEACC et al should be concerned about how Goldbelt shareholders view their organizations, as there are more than 5,000 shareholders and shareholder descendants who live and work in Southeast Alaska. There is anger and frustration growing daily among our shareholders. Every day that goes by without a mine in operation costs Goldbelt and Goldbelt shareholder families dearly.
SEACC needs to come to the table with Coeur and accept Coeur's offer to modify its tailing disposal method. Both parties have now stated publicly that they want to reach an accord, yet we have seen no meeting schedule and no real progress.
To honor their pledges to the community, now is the time for action, not words. We ask SEACC, Lynn Canal and Sierra Club to work openly with Coeur to ensure that applicable permits for whatever changes are needed are issued in a timely manner, without objection by SEACC and the other plaintiffs. This way, the Mine can open quickly, and all parties can begin receiving the benefits that this project will provide.
J. Gary Droubay
President and CEO,Goldbelt Inc.