KSM Mine Wins Environmental Approval From British Columbia Government

A controversial mine planned for an area northeast of Ketchikan just won environmental approval from the British Columbia government.

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Toronto-based Seabridge Gold was granted what’s called an Environmental Assessment Certificate Wednesday. The corporation is developing the Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell prospect, not far from the Southeast Alaska border.

Seabridge still needs similar approval from Canada’s federal government. It got a provisional OK earlier this month. The final public comment period for what’s called the KSM mine ends August 20th.

Provincial approval was granted on the same day the National Council of American Indians released a statement opposing the KSM and similar developments near transboundary rivers. That came in support of efforts by a Southeast tribal coalition critical of a half-dozen projects planned for near the border.

Seabridge Gold still needs to raise much of the $5.3 billion needed to develop what it calls one of the largest copper and gold deposits in the world.

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Ed Schoenfeld is Regional News Director for CoastAlaska, a consortium of public radio stations in Ketchikan, Juneau, Sitka, Petersburg and Wrangell. He primarily covers Southeast Alaska regional topics, including the state ferry system, transboundary mining, the Tongass National Forest and Native corporations and issues. He has also worked as a manager, editor and reporter for the Juneau Empire newspaper and Juneau public radio station KTOO. He’s also reported for commercial station KINY in Juneau and public stations KPFA in Berkley, WYSO in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and WUHY in Philadelphia. He’s lived in Alaska since 1979 and is a contributor to Alaska Public Radio Network newscasts, the Northwest (Public Radio) News Network and National Native News. He is a board member of the Alaska Press Club. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, he lives in Douglas.