A short time ago I had a unique opportunity offered by Coeur to tour the Kensington gold mine. Contrary to the opponent's propaganda, the operation is 100 percent complete except for the tailings. It was not visible from Berners Bay, the tiny footprint of the state-of-the-art mill and mine. The exemplary pride and care for the environment demonstrated by the local on-site workforce truly says it all: "Coeur has done it right."
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Yet the mine cannot start operations. After the mine received all its permits (state, federal and local, more than 50 in total), after nearly five years of exhaustive evaluation by the responsible agencies, Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, Sierra Club, Lynn Canal Conservation and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco have been the judge and jury.
As if enhancing a pothole pond to a productive fishery, while limiting the environmental footprint, is not the right thing to do. There are more than 400 construction jobs and 375 direct and indirect high-paying operations jobs at stake for Southeast.
I'm not sure if the opponents have gone to tour the site and observe the environmental safeguards as well as talk with the very proud workers. I was truly impressed and strongly support a resolution that will begin mine production as soon as possible.
Tish Griffin Satre