Peak Gold LLC along with Kinross/Contago Ore joint venture are requesting permit approvals for a Waste Management Plan from Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and a Reclamation Plan from Alaska Department of Natural Resources, collectively herein referred to as Alaska, for the Manh Choh gold mine project. Alaska invites comments on these permits on or before March 13, 2023 to

Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities has contracted Kinney Engineering to conduct a corridor study from the project mine site in Tetlin to the Fort Knox mine to assess current and future conditions along the ore haul trucking route. The study is anticipated to be completed late this year. Late last year following the announcement by Kinross of the ore haul trucking plan, ADNR did not have a file for this project, but it is now on their Large Mines projects list. What is missing, in order of standard protocol for all large mine projects, is an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) performed in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Alaska should withhold any action on these permits until after an EIS and the corridor study have been completed.

Are there any large mine projects that have by-passed environmental review? Issuing any permits for this project at this time is premature. A proper assessment of this project is essential for making any determination whether the project will cause unavoidable impacts to health and safety, air quality, noise, and long-term maintenance needs for our highways and bridges.

Let Alaska know how you think about this project and ask for permit deferral.

David McDowell

[David McDowell lives in Fairbanks and his Letter to the Editor is republished with his permission.]