Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett meets Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski in Anchorage Nov. 6. With a Republican majority

B.C. seeks to calm mining worries in Alaska

Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett meets with tourism and fishing industries in wake of Mount Polley dam failure

Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett hopes for a closer relationship with Alaska after speaking to a mining conference in Anchorage and meeting one of the new power players in U.S. resource policy.

Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski is expected to take over next year as chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee after her Republican Party won a majority in the U.S. Senate in the Nov. 4 midterm elections. Murkowski plans to work for senate approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline to the U.S. Gulf Coast that has been held up by the former Democrat majority.

Bennett’s trip was mainly to reassure Alaska’s fishing and tourism industries about environmental controls for six proposed mines in northwest B.C. watersheds that drain to the Alaska coast. Those projects are on Alaska’s political map after the Aug. 1 tailings dam failure at Mount Polley copper-gold mine near Williams Lake.

“We talked about Mount Polley, we talked about the mining industry generally in Alaska and B.C.,” Bennett said after his meeting with Murkowski. “We talked about the current interaction between Alaska and B.C. on mining projects like the KSM project.”

Seabridge Gold received a B.C. environmental assessment certificate in July to develop KSM, four ore bodies near Stewart and the Alaska border that contain gold, copper, silver and molybdenum. Seabridge is looking for a major mining company as a financial partner for what would be one of the biggest metal mines in B.C.

Bennett proposed a joint management agreement between B.C. and Alaska similar to one with Montana for coal mining and environmental protection of the Flathead and Kootenay Rivers that flow south of the border. The agreement would include protocols for upstream industrial development.

Other mine proposals Alaska is watching are the Red Chris copper-gold project near Dease Lake, the Galore Creek, Schaft Creek and Brucejack gold properties north of Stewart, and Kitsault Mine, a molybdenum deposit near Alice Arm northeast of Prince Rupert that operated from 1967 to 1982.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Three projects on the North Coast awarded funding

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Hagensborg Water District purchases new fire truck; prepares for conversion to CCRD

Approximately $1.3 million of the district’s infrastructure grant has been transferred to the CCRD.

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

‘Trauma equals addiction’: Why some seek solace in illicit drugs

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Most Read