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State Issues Permits for Pogo Gold Mine Project


December 19, 2003
Friday - 12:55 am

The Murkowski administration on Thursday issued all the necessary authorizations required by the Department of Natural Resources for the development of the Pogo Gold Mine. All the major state authorizations necessary for Teck-Pogo, Incorporated to develop the Pogo gold project are now in place. All that remains is for the federal agencies to issue two critical authorizations, and then major construction can begin.

"We were pleased to deliver the final EIS on this project to Sumitomo in Japan on October 10, so it gives me a great deal of pleasure to announce that all state permits and authorizations are now in place for the mine to go forward," Murkowski said. "All we are waiting on now is for the EPA and Corps of Engineers to finish their reviews and take action."

Teck-Pogo Inc. is the project operator for the Pogo project, on behalf of joint venture partners Sumitomo Metal Mining America Inc., SC Minerals America Inc., and Teck Cominco Limited.

The proposed underground mine is near Delta Junction, and contains approximately 5.6 million ounces of gold. Up to 700 workers would be employed during the two-year construction period, and 360 workers would be required to operate the mine for at least 11 years. The proposed mine is entirely on state land, and 50 miles from the nearest road. A 50-mile all season road from the Richardson Highway, up the Shaw Creek valley to the mine site in the upper Goodpaster River valley will be constructed.

Although Teck-Pogo will begin mobilizing equipment and supplies on ice roads immediately, major construction will not begin until two critical Federal authorizations have been issued. One of these, the wetlands fill permit from the US Army Corps of Engineers, is expected to be issued later this month. The other authorization, the Environmental Protection Agency's clean water discharge permit, is expected to be issued in February.

The state authorizations were issued after a three-year Federal Environmental Impact Statement process. The 1,200-page Environmental Impact Statement was finalized this fall, and thoroughly evaluates the environmental impacts that could result from this mine project. Many public comments were received on the project, the overwhelming majority of which supported the mine's development. "This Environmental Impact Statement clearly shows that this project has huge community support, and can be developed with minimal impacts to the environment," said DNR Commissioner Tom Irwin.




Source of News Release:

Office of the Governor
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