Unuk River mine/KSM

On Oct 5th, Seabridge, a Canadian mining company,  held a public meeting in Ketchikan  to inform the public about a mine proposal on the headwaters of the Unuk and Nass Rivers.  Despite the short notification prior to the meeting, the room was packed with folks opposed to the project.

The proposed mine is 400 times bigger than the Kensington mine and will dump 2.1 billion tons of toxic acid waste in the Unuk and Nass watersheds.

After Brent Murphy of Seabridge gave his hour and a half introduction, the floor was opened to questions.  None spoke in favor of the mine, and Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian tribal members testified about the danger posed to their salmon and hooligan fisheries. Since all tribes are sovereign nations, negotiations between the tribes and the Canadian government will be necessary. The state of Alaska will work with the company in the permitting process but the DEC official said the State would grant permits if environmental regulations were considered.

Interested persons can call locally to our three representatives in D.C.   Lisa Murkowski’s office is 907 225 6880, Mark Begich’s office is 907 225 3000, and Don Young’s is 907 225 6880. Call Scott Walker of the Ketchikan ADFG (907 225 5195) commercial fish division if you are concerned about fish runs in southern Southeast. Joe Hitselberger of the Habitat Division in Juneau (541-563-2347)has a seat at the table with the Canadian mining companies.  The Habitat Division can be encouraged to monitor water quality that is already being impacted by melting glaciers.

Since Seabridge is only doing feasability studies, now is the time to ask qestions and stay informed.

For more information, go to UnukRiverPost.org and SeaBridgeGold.net
Also a link to the Project Summary: click here…

Take Action:
Contact The Ministry of British Columbia, Environmental Protection Division at: (250) 387-1288, or email: envprotdiv@victoria1.gov.bc.ca

Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Office of the Commissioner at: 907-269-8431, or email: daniel.sullivan@alaska.gov



5 Responses to Unuk River mine/KSM

  1. Marvin says:

    Can you believe it? The Unuk produces more King Salmon than the Chilkat River in Haines. The Unuk is the biggest salmon river in the whole Ketchikan area.

  2. Pat says:

    “Research shows that even with mitigation measures in place, 93% of mines that had a potential for acid drainage exceeded water quality standards in ground water and 85% exceeded water quality standards in nearby surface waters.”

    (Comparison of Predicted and Actual Water Quality at Hardrock Mines. Kuipers and Maest, 2006)

  3. Jared says:

    Have you ever heard of this region called the golden triangle, I guess they’ve been mining up there all ready and air boat / jet boating the gold out the Iskut a
    all the way to Wrangal. Eskay creek mine I read about this secret little mine in Erin Mckittrick’s book “a long trek home”. We got to get up there and explore the area.

    • Marvin says:

      Indeed, these are two active mines in the BC area. The Eskay is an existing mine near the headwaters of the Unuk. The proposed KSM mine would be located 25 miles down river. It would actually use the Eskay Road for initial access. KSM would then build an additional 25 miles of road with a bridge over the Unuk. KSM also proposes to build a 15 mile underground tunnel to transport ore over to the Nass River headwaters.

      The Eskay is a small mom and pop in comparison to the proposed Kerr Sulphurets Mitchell pit mine. KSM is comparable in size to the proposed Pebble Mine.

      KSM claims they would install a dam to catch runoff from the mine site before it runs into the Unuk. However, they claim no responsibility for the possible runoff into ground water and subterranean rivers. Being a Geology scholar Jared, isn’t it likely that contaminated water from this mine could end up both the Unuk and even the Chickamin?

  4. Victoria says:

    The KSM mine endangers the Unuk and our fisheries in southern Southeast; after a very weak salmon return in 2010, we need to be especially careful that our runs don’t diminish further.
    The KSM mine is a massive project, but there are many more planned (12?) along our border so the Stikine and Taku will be facing the same threat if this mine is not stopped. Once these mines get going, Canadian truckers, miners etc will defend their jobs. This mine must be stopped or we can say goodbye to our fish that use these rivers.

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