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Governor: "Another Major Breakthrough for Mining"
Start of Public Comment Period for Kensington Mine Permits


June 22, 2004

Juneau, Alaska - Governor Frank Murkowski on Monday applauded the Environmental Protection Agency's issuance of Coeur Alaska, Inc.'s draft Clean Water Act permit and other federal and state permits.

The Kensington gold mine, with reserves of 1.4 million ounces, is expected to employ 300 workers during the construction phase, with payroll and benefits of $16 million, and will

"Kensington is a valuable gold mine property that will provide decades of quality jobs in the Juneau economy."...
Gov. Frank Murkowski
create an estimated 180 indirect jobs. Direct purchases in the Juneau economy should total another $7.5 million. During the operation phase, the mine will employ 200 workers.

"This is another major breakthrough for mining in Alaska," Murkowski said. "The focus of this administration has been and continues to be in getting natural resource projects going that will provide steady, high-paying, long-term jobs for Alaskans. Kensington is on its way to becoming a reality, just like the Pogo, Red Dog, and Greens Creek mines. We can have a healthy, productive mining sector, and the permits for Kensington are a huge step in the right direction."

The EPA on Friday mailed out notices of the draft Clean Water Act permit to approximately 550 interested recipients that the 45-day public comment period on the mine's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits will begin today, June 21. In addition, the Army Corps of Engineers published notice of Coeur's application to discharge dredged and fill materials, and the state Department of Natural Resources has prepared draft decisions on several state leases and permits related to the project.

"This has been a tremendous effort on the part of many people, including the EPA, the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Corps of Engineers, and Coeur Alaska," Murkowski said. "Kensington is a valuable gold mine property that will provide decades of quality jobs in the Juneau economy."

Kensington is an underground mine located approximately 45 miles northwest of downtown Juneau, on Lynn Canal in the Tongass National Forest. Coeur proposes to process approximately 2,000 tons of ore per day, with a tailings storage facility at Lower Slate Lake. Milling operations would be located in the Johnson Creek drainage. Access to the site would be from marine terminals built at Slate Creek Cove and Cascade Point. Daily ferry service would transport workers to and from the project across Berner's Bay.

"The Kensington Mine project, like other resource development projects, benefits from sensible, protective environmental standards that reassure the public that progress will not be at the expense of environmental quality," said Ernesta Ballard, Commissioner of Environmental Conservation. "Release of the Kensington draft permit package is an indication that a commitment to protecting air, land and water resources goes hand in hand with resource development. We commend the work of all the state and federal agencies for their contributions to reach this milestone in the permitting process."


Source of News Release:

Office of the Governor
Web Site


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