Large scale mines with ore bodies containing high sulfide concentrations pose significant risk to water quality and fisheries habitat, possibly in perpetuity. LCC believes that Alaskans have a right to clean water and has worked to educate the community about the risks of mining in our local watersheds. In addition, we support policies that safeguard clean water and salmon habitat for generations to come.
Critics Sue Over Mine Exploration Near Alaska Eagle Preserve
Include Chilkat River in Transboundary Mining Conversation
Recent Article Highlights Constantine
Mining Activity in Southeast Alaska
Right now more than 10 mines are in the development phase, all right here in Southeast Alaska. These mines are located in British Columbia and located at the headwaters of three primary rivers that supply healthy salmon for Alaska's fisherman. Map provided from Salmon Beyond Borders.
Constantine Moves Closer
Constantine Metal Resources moves one step closer to possible underground exploration with an extended exploration road and steep switchbacks above Glacier Creek. This would forever change the pristine views from Flower Mountain. Exploration and mining for high sulfide minerals run the same risks for salmon and other wildlife.
What is the Constantine Palmer Project
Constantine Metals is exploring what it terms “North America’s next major massive sulfide find" the Palmer Project. The ore is in the same geological belt as the Greens Creek Mine, which is currently leaching heavy metals intosalmon habitat. This type of acid producing mine at the headwaters of the Chilkat could pose a very serious threat to some of the most productive wild salmon spawning and rearing habitat in Southeast Alaska.
Mining exploration at the Palmer deposit near 40 Mile of the Haines Highway resumed in May of 2013 under ajoint-venture agreement between Constantine Metal Resources and Dowa Metals and Mining Co. of Japan.
Who is Dowa?
Due to the suspension of mining in Japan in the early '90s, Dowa now imports ore concentrate for its smelters. This agreement between Dowa and Constantine would give Dowa the largest % interest of any of its investments in mines around the world.
Dowa’s history began with the mining of Kuroko ore in the town of Kosaka, located in Akita prefecture, northernJapan.
Kuroko is a polymetallic complex sulfide ore composed of sphalerite, galena, chalcopyrite, pyrite, barite and other minor minerals. Although Kuroko ore contains abundant precious metals such as gold and silver, they are difficult to smelt due to the ore’s complex mineral composition.
Dowa overcame this technological challenge, and the Company continues to evolve through the development of Kuroko.
Overseas exploration and resource development activities
Dowa first commenced overseas exploration and resource development when Japanese mines were still active during the 1950’s.
However, due to economic changes, domestic mines were forced to suspend operation in the early 1990s. Dowa currently conducts its activities overseas and applies its technologies developed through Kuroko ore mining.
Dowa is currently involved in the operation of three mines: the Tizapa mine (Mexico), and the Huckleberry mine and Gibraltar mine (Canada). The Company continues to conduct exploration and resource development activities in order to increase metal production from its mines.
Constantine Metal Resources announced a $6.2 million project budget for the 2014 season. Garfield MacVeigh, President and CEO states, “2014 is poised to be a promising year for Constantine and the advancement of the Palmer project. We look forward to what will be the most active year in the company’s history and the opportunity to continue proving up Palmer’s potential.”
Exploratory drilling requires use of water fed by glacial melt from Saksaia, Boundary and Little Jarvis Glaciers, flowing into the Klehini River, which empties into the Chilkat River. Drilling fluids, lubricants and resulting effluent contain many components that can harm fish. The Chilkat watershed provides outstanding habitat for all five species of wild Pacific salmon, and the impacts of exploratory drilling on water quality are uncertain. Because watershed protection is essential LCC formally requested that an Environmental Assessment (EA) be conducted for the 2013 season to determine if diamond core drilling has any significant impacts on water quality. LCC still has never heard back from DNR regarding an EA.
Southeast Alaska Conservation Council Palmer Project page
High Country News Article about Mining Risks in the Bald Eagle Preserve
Constantine's October 2015
Save Our Salmon Save Our Culture
Save our Salmon Save our Culture film created by Twin Lion Productions in partnership with the Western Mining Action Network, the Chilkat Indian Village, and Lynn Canal Conservation.
Mental Health Trust Mineral Lease
The Alaska Mental Health Trust Land Office recently decided to offer a competitive mineral lease on 99,257 acres of land in the upper Chilkat Valley. 20 comments were submitted and the majority expressed concern over potential adverse effects to water, fish and wildlife. According to the Trust, "few comments addressed the best interest of the beneficiares or consistency with Trust management principals" so the Trust has decided to use their lands to generate income through mineral leasing. Read the Trust's rationale for affirmation of the Best Interest Decision.