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Tulsequah Chief Cleanup Or A New Company Picking Up Where Chieftain Left Off?

Will Patric : Jul 1.2017

When Chieftain Metals went into receivership last fall, Rivers Without Borders was heartened, not because we are anti-mining (we aren’t) but rather because we are pro thriving watersheds. And this is especially the case with regard to the Taku, the largest totally intact watershed on North America’s Pacific coast. Developing the Tulsequah Chief mine on Alaska’s doorstep and immediately above the Taku’s premier salmon habitat is simply a bad idea, underscored by this second bankruptcy of a Tulsequah Chief mine proponent in seven years.

With the bankruptcy, it seems, is a golden opportunity for BC government to finally turn the page from its mantra of a new mine is needed to clean up the old mine mess to actually taking steps to end sixty years of acid mine drainage from the original and long abandoned Tulsequah Chief mine. Indeed then Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett committed to BC finally cleaning up the old mine pollution following the bankruptcy, giving hope to downstream Alaskans who have been calling on BC to take this action for decades.

In this context, we are dismayed to have recently learned that a new company is now in conversation with the bankruptcy holding company and BC government about picking up with the Tulsequah Chief mine proposal where Chieftain left off. One would think that in two bankruptcies, BC First Nation and Alaska tribal opposition to a new mine, lawsuits, years of intense controversy, Alaskan opposition to the idea, and fifteen years of squandered taxpayer dollars spent by BC agencies trying to get a mine started when there’s virtually no support, not to mention the six decades of unabated acid drainage, there would be a lesson to be learned. Hopefully that is still the case …

Rivers Without Borders issued the following press release with multiple perspectives on the prospect of a Tulsequah Chief mine proposal getting resurrected. Hopefully good government and common sense will yet prevail …

Tulsequah New Buyer release

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