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The conflict over putting in a hard-rock mine near the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve near Haines, Alaska took a new turn recently with the filing of an appeal on November 3, 2022, by an Alaska Native Tlingit tribe and five environmental groups. The group’s appeal is to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation regarding the waste management permit for the Palmer Project’s exploration project in the watershed of the Chilkat River.
The Palmer Project plan calls for contaminated wastewater to be discharged near Glacier Creek (pictured), a tributary of the Chilkat River. The pictured mountainside is the proposed site of a mile-long exploration tunnel. Environmental groups fear that the tunnel would intercept groundwater contaminated by blasting activities and drain into the headwaters of Glacier Creek.
The appeal was filed by Earthjustice, which is representing the Chilkat Indian Village of Klukwan, Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, the Takshanuk Watershed Council, Lynn Canal Conservation, Audubon, and Rivers Without Borders.
Recently, shareholders of Constantine Metal Resources Ltd. of Vancouver, British Columbia approved the company’s acquisition by American Pacific Mining of British Columbia. Under the acquisition, American Pacific Mining would own 45% of the project, and investment partner Dowa Metals & Mining Co., Ltd. of Japan owning the majority.
Support for a large-scale mine such as the Palmer project is divided among residents of Haines, a small community in Southeast Alaska 75 miles northwest of Juneau. The community’s needed economic boost from jobs, development, and other mine support that a large-scale mine brings is tempting to some. To others, anything that might put the salmon spawning and rearing habitat and watershed resources at risk is simply unimaginable and unacceptable. Of particular concern is copper and other heavy metals in mine waste leaching into the Klehini River and the Chilkat River 14 miles downstream. Co
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Alaska America American Pacific Mining Constantine Metal Resources Constantine Metal Resources Ltd. Constantine North Inc. Dowa Dowa Metals Dowa Metals & Mining Dowa Metals & Mining Co. Ltd. Earthjustice Glacier Creek Haines Klehini River North America U.S. US USA United States United States of America horizontal metal and mineral mining outdoor outdoors outside southeast Alaska
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- Haines, Alaska