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The conflict over putting in a hard-rock mine near the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve near Haines, Alaska took a new turn recently with the filing of a lawsuit by an Alaska Native Tlingit tribe and three environmental groups. The group is suing the Bureau of Land Management, saying that the agency granted mineral exploration permits without considering how a mine could affect the Chilkat River's salmon and the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve.
Joining the Tlingit village of Klukwan in the lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management are the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, Lynn Canal Conservation and Rivers Without Borders. They are represented by Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law firm. The group is asking for mining permits to be revoked.
Constantine Metal Resources Ltd. of Vancouver, British Columbia along with investment partner Dowa Metals & Mining Co., Ltd. of Japan is exploring a potential site for a mine (located center) just above Glacier Creek and the Klehini River near Haines Alaska. This area, known as the Palmer Deposit is located near mile 40 of the Haines Highway and the Porcupine placer gold mining area.
Support for a large scale mine is divided among residents of Haines. The community’s needed economic boost from jobs that a large-scale mine brings is tempting to some. To others, anything that might put the salmon spawning and rearing habitat and watershed resources at risk is simply unimaginable and unacceptable. Of particular concern is copper and other heavy metals in mine waste leaching into the Klehini River (shown) and the Chilkat River 14 miles downstream. Copper and heavy metals are toxic to salmon and bald eagles.
The Chilkat River chum salmon are the primary food source for one of the largest gatherings of bald eagles in the world. Each fall, bald eagles congregate in the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, located only three miles downriver from the area of current exploration.
- Constantine Mine, Palmer Deposit.jpg
- © John L. Dengler
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Alaska America Chilkat River Constantine Metal Resources Constantine Metal Resources Ltd. Constantine Mine Constantine North Inc. Dowa Dowa Metals Dowa Metals & Mining Dowa Metals & Mining Co. Ltd. Earthjustice Glacier Creek Deposit Glacier Creek Prospect Glacier Creek VMS deposit Haines Klehini River Klukwan Lynn Canal Conservation North America Palmer Deposit Palmer Exploration Project Palmer VMS project Rivers Without Borders SEACC Southeast Alaska Conservation Council U.S. US USA United States United States of America VMS copper gold hard-rock mine hardrock mine horizontal landscape landscapes mine mine site natural resources no people nobody outdoor outdoors outside precious metal rocks and minerals scenic silver southeast Alaska volcanogenic massive sulphide
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- Haines, Alaska, Palmer Deposit - Constantine Mine