"Corps OKs Kensington Permit"

"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reissued a permit Friday to Coeur Alaska Inc. for its Kensington mine plans, clearing the way for construction to resume on the final component of the complex that's been on hold since 2006 because of environmentalists' lawsuits.

Construction is expected to create 300 jobs, and the gold mine itself is expected to employ 200 well-paid workers once in operation. State and local business interests have been clamoring for it for years, celebrating it as a major new economic driver that will keep stagnation in Juneau at bay and put a dent in the region's unemployment numbers.

The mine is located about 45 miles northwest of Juneau.

The U.S. Supreme Court settled the legal battle in the mine company's favor through a June decision, but not before the original permit expired. The new permit is good through July 2014.

The Supreme Court case centered around a to-be constructed facility for disposing of mine waste known as tailings, the ground up waste rock left over after metals are removed from ore. Coeur plans to dump the tailings into Lower Slate Lake and treat the water flowing out to Berners Bay; the environmental groups sought a wetland disposal option that would preserve the lake."

Jeremy Hsieh reports for the Juneau Empire August 16, 2009.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009