B.C. Mine Approvals ‘Too Much, Too Fast’ According to Alaskans Downstream (DeSmog Canada)
B.C.’s approval of a new mine in a transboundary watershed has added fuel to simmering Alaskan anger about the province’s surge of mine development adjacent to the southeast Alaska border.
The province has granted an environmental assessment certificate to Pretivm Resources Inc. for the Brucejack gold and silver mine, about 65 kilometres northwest of Stewart and 40 kilometres upstream from the Alaskan border.
The underground mine, which has not yet received federal approval, will be close to the headwaters of the Unuk River, which flows from B.C. into Alaska. The Unuk is one of Southeast Alaska’s largest king (chinook) salmon rivers and drains into Misty Fjords National Monument, one of Alaska’s most popular tourist destinations.
Brucejack is adjacent to the large Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell (KSM) mine, which received B.C and federal government approval last year, despite strong opposition from Alaskan politicians, fishermen and tribal governments.
“It is too much, too fast,” said Chris Zimmer, Alaska campaign director with Rivers Without Borders.
“It is the cumulative effect of so many mines in salmon-producing areas. There is so much coming at us so fast without any long-term controls and the process is just not designed to look at cumulative effects over a big region.”
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