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Tulsequah Chief A Year Later And the Bigger Picture

Will Patric : Nov 2.2017

It was a year ago that Chieftain Metals went into receivership and BC government, finally, committed to ending illegal acid mine drainage discharge at the Tulsequah Chief site on the lower Taku. This was the first time BC had publically dropped its “developing a new mine is the only way to clean up the old mine mess” mantra we’ve heard for so many years, so we were heartened.  The emergence of a potential new buyer for the Tulsequah Chief mine project, proposing to pick up where bankrupt Chieftain left off, posed a serious setback to our hopes, but as we recently reported, the prospective buyer backed out.  We assume our efforts to spotlight this purchase and its implications on both sides of the border paid off.

At the same time, pressure for cleanup, and opposition to a new Tulsequah Chief mine, continues to grow.  Most notably, the Juneau Alaska based Douglas Indian Association passed a resolution calling for an end to the Taku pollution.  The State of Alaska seems to giving more attention to the problem, and showing less patience with its continuation.  As one high level official put it, “This problem doesn’t need more study.  It just needs to be fixed.”  As far as we know, the still new BC government has yet to position itself on the Tulsequah issue, but we are doing what we can to make it a priority.

Meanwhile transboundary watershed interest and concern continues to grow, especially on the downstream Alaska side.  Calls for federal level engagement on both sides of the border are unprecedented, with formal resolutions from communities and Tribes backing them.  Media coverage of transboundary issues is also outstanding.

Links to two particularly good examples of recent media follow.  The connection between the Tulsequah Chief issue and regional watershed stewardship is a significant element here.  The photos are also very telling.  Thanks for taking a look!

Canada has second worst mining record in the world

Photo expose of transboundary mining boom

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