Governor Hand-Delivers EIS To Sumitomo Metal
Mining Corporation President
October 11, 2003
"We deliver," he said.
"This is a most wonderful present," said Fukushima, after opening the EIS wrapped in Alaska blue and gold.
The completed EIS will allow for all state and federal permits to be issued for the Pogo Mine near Delta Junction, east of Fairbanks. Sumimoto Metal Mining is 60% owner of the project. Teck Cominco owns the remaining interest.
"I cannot emphasize enough the importance of the final EIS," added Mike Menge, special assistant for natural resources.
The mine, which has 5.5 million ounces of gold, will provide 500 construction jobs and 300 permanent jobs. More gold reserves are anticipated to be discovered.
Murkowski and Fukushima discussed the next steps of the project, including the expediting of state licensing. Murkowski indicated he will keep a watchful eye on the project.
"I have appointed a well-experienced team to make environmentally-responsible decisions in a prompt manner to speed up the state licensing," said Murkowski. "We have a good working relationship with you."
He added that he had appointed Bill Jeffress, former assistant mine manager at Fort Knox, to manage and oversee the state's role in the Pogo Mine development.
Sumitomo Metal Mining would like to begin delivering loading equipment to the mine site in January. Murkowski assured Fukushima that access to the site would be available commensurate with Sumitomo's schedule.
Joining Murkowski on his trade mission to foster tourism, energy, mining, timber, and seafood are Bob Thorstenson, Chris von Imhof, Alan Austerman, Margy Johnson, and Mike Menge.
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