Public invited to comment on plan amendment to extend operations of Kensington Gold Mine in Juneau. Correction – 45 day scoping period

Contact(s): Paul Robbins Jr.


JUNEAU, Alaska – The Tongass National Forest is asking for public comment during a 45-day scoping period to gather input on a Plan of Operations Amendment to include 10 additional years of tailings and waste rock storage at the Kensington Gold Mine near Berners Bay. The Notice of Intent beginning the comment period will be published Sept. 23, 2019.

Public comments gathered from Sept. 23, 2019 to November. 7, 2019, will be used to develop an Environmental Impact Statement regarding plans to provide an additional estimated ten years of tailings and waste rock storage at the mine and allow further development of the known gold resource. The current predicted life of the Kensington mine is 2023. Activities under the proposed Plan of Operations Amendment will add 10 years to the expected mine life to 2033.

The Forest Service recognizes the importance of mineral resources to the well-being of the nation, and encourages mineral exploration and development as part of our multiple-use mandate. At the same time, Forest Service experts work toward minimizing the impacts of mining activities on other forest resources by working closely with the state and other federal agencies with regulatory authority to ensure that measures are in place to protect water quality and nearby aquatic habitats.

The scoping process allows the Forest Service and the public to collaborate in defining the range of issues and possible alternatives to be addressed, and is critical in making sure the forest is responsive to the needs and concerns of local communities.

Comments can be submitted several ways:

  • Electronically at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=55533
  • Fax to 907-586-8808.
  • Mail or hand deliver to 8510 Mendenhall Loop Rd, Juneau AK 99801. Hand delivery can only be accepted during weekday business hours, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays.

Project information, meeting announcements, legal notices, and documents are posted on the project web page at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=55533. Public meetings will be scheduled in Juneau and Haines, Alaska.

The Kensington Gold Mine, operated by Coeur Alaska, Inc., is an underground gold mine on a mix of patented land and the Tongass National Forest. It has been in production since late June 2010. Kensington provides approximately 387 jobs in Juneau and Southeast Alaska.

For more information, contact Project Manager Matthew Reece, at 907-789-6274, or matthew.a.reece@usda.gov.

For interviews and information to be used for publication, contact the Tongass Public Affairs Officer at 907-228-6201.

The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 30 percent of the nation’s surface drinking water to cities and rural communities and approximately 66 million Americans rely on drinking water that originated from the National Forest System. The agency also has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 900 million forested acres within the U.S., of which over 130 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.

 

#

 

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender





https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/tongass/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD665452