Certainly Goldbelt has known that Southeast Alaska Conservation Council has opposed the use of Cascade Point for several years, however, they had their chance to challenge its use in the permit application process and they were not successful. We were granted the permit to build a marine facility at Cascade Point in spite of their objections, and as a result, Coeur and Goldbelt began construction of the facility - it is now half way complete.
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SEACC's challenge to the Kensington Mine was based on a supposed violation of the Clean Water Act - not because Coeur planned to use Goldbelt's property at Cascade Point to transport workers. Their lawsuit could not have gone anywhere if their only issue was Cascade Point.
It should be obvious to everyone that the method of tailings disposal has nothing to do with the use of a facility on Goldbelt's land to transport mine workers to the mine. It was a technicality in the legal process that allowed Goldbelt's permit to be treated in the same manner as the permit for mine tailings disposal. If Cascade Point was a part of the negotiations, why was Goldbelt excluded from the negotiations?
Has SEACC successfully stymied Coeur, by threatening to withhold full cooperation in Coeur's efforts to open the mine as soon as possible? If Coeur does not consider using Yankee Cove in lieu of Cascade Point, how long will the environmental groups continue to delay things? While we are disappointed that Goldbelt's property has become a pawn in this struggle, we understand the importance to Juneau residents - and our shareholders - of opening the mine as soon as possible. We also understand the importance to Coeur and its shareholders. Therefore, Goldbelt will cooperate with Coeur in every appropriate way so that the mine becomes operational sooner rather than later. Juneau cannot be held hostage any longer, it has to have an economic future.
However, we continue to believe that SEACC and the other environmental groups have conspired to deprive Goldbelt from developing its lands that were selected under Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. SEACC and its cohorts are targeting an economically distressed minority group, and as a result, they may be violating Native civil rights. We, and other Native organizations in Alaska will continue to fight subversive actions by the environmental groups. Certainly we will pursue other operating opportunities to establish a marine facility at Cascade Point.
President and CEO, Goldbelt