Progress with Kensington tailings?

In the USA, Coeur d’Alene Mines has reported that Bruce Botelho, Mayor of Juneau, Alaska, has announced that the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, Lynn Canal Conservation, the Juneau Group of the Sierra Club, and Coeur Alaska all stated they will ask the US Forest Service to examine the use of an alternative site using paste technology for disposal of mine tailings at Coeur’s Kensington gold mine. The project is being held up over a dispute regarding tailings disposal.

The US Forest Service will examine the use of a site near Comet Beach for disposal of the Kensington mine tailings. The site is essentially the same as the previously approved Dry Tailings Facility site, but Coeur is now proposing to store the
tailings using paste technology instead of dry stacking. Based on the 1997 Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for this site and the work of environmental consultant Dr. David Chambers, the Conservation Groups believe that the potential adverse environmental impacts of the Comet Beach site are less than the impacts of  alternative sites that have been identified. If the Comet Beach site  is approved, Lower Slate Lake would not be used in any way for tailings storage or disposal.

“Any revised operations plan is subject to federal, state and local regulatory approval and permitting. The next step is for the parties to meet with the Forest Service to discuss the regulatory process that would be followed to evaluate the Comet Beach site. Development of a final plan of operations is expected to be an iterative process because both Coeur and the Conservation Groups expect that the regulatory process will help define further details of the disposal plan. All of the parties have pledged to cooperate and work with the regulators to complete evaluation of the proposed site in as timely a  manner as possible. The parties have preserved all of their legal rights pending final permitting of the mine.