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It’s public comment time on the Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell mine!

Rivers Without Borders : Sep 13.2013

The proposed Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell (KSM) mine would be a massive open-pit mining complex in northwest British Columbia in the headwaters of the Unuk River, just upstream of Alaska’s Misty Fiords National Monument. The project has entered the Environmental Assessment process, and the 45-day public comment period is right now, from September 6, 2013 to October 21, 2013.

This mega-mine, comparable in scale to the proposed Pebble Mine, threatens water quality, wild salmon and wildlife, and the fragile, remote ecosystems that support them in both the Unuk and Nass River watersheds.

Site of the proposed Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell mine in the BC transboundary headwaters. Once constructed, the mine would process 130,000 tonnes of ore per day over a mine life of 55 years. Photo courtesy of Mike Fay.

Site of the proposed Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell mine in the BC transboundary headwaters. This would be one of the largest open-pit mines in North America in the heart of one of the continents wildest watersheds. Photo courtesy of Mike Fay.

At KSM, Seabridge Gold proposes a combined open-pit and underground gold, copper, silver, and molybdenum mine about 65 kilometres northwest of Stewart, B.C. It would process 130,000 tonnes of ore per day over a mine life of up to 55 years. It poses a serious risk to water quality and salmon and wildlife habitat in both the Unuk River and the Bell-Irving, a major tributary of the Nass River.

Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell mine proposal briefing. Click image to view or download pdf.

Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell mine proposal briefing. Click image to view or download pdf.

To learn more about the proposed KSM project, please go to the briefer at right.

Take this opportunity to make your voice heard during the public comment period for the mine.

  • Downstream Alaskan interests must be addressed in these international watersheds.
  • KSM must provide stronger safeguards for salmon and water quality before the Canadian permitting process proceeds any further.
  • KSM must address what happens if their predictions and hopes regarding water quality and salmon are wrong…how will accidents and unexpected events be dealt with?
  • KSM is likely to foster other mining development nearby, yet the cumulative effects of such development on the region have been largely ignored.
  • The 45-day public comment period that ends on October 21 is not enough time for the public to evaluate the proposed KSM project, the five thousand plus page environmental document accompanying it, and the enormous implications for the region. The deadline for public comment should be extended by another six months.
  • Canadian and BC government agencies, and Seabridge should hold public meetings in Southeast Alaska prior to any permitting decision on the KSM project.

KSM is subject to review under both the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment Act.

Please click on this link, americansalmonforest.org/ksm-comment-form/, to submit your comments directly to the BC and Canadian governments. Thank you!