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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Langford teens reunited with family after rescue near Chemainus

Friends spent night in missing truck, spotted by RCMP helicopter

Town of Ladysmith receives $3.3 million grant for Arts & Heritage Hub

The funds will go to creating artist studios around the Machine Shop and maintaining heritage assets

Extension given for Cowichan region homeless tenting sites

Meeting with BC Housing to determine the next step

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses claim against Island Corridor Foundation

Snaw-Naw-As (Nanoose) First Nation was seeking return of reserve land as railway sits unused

What’s in a name? Ladysmith’s historical streets re-examined

Several streets in downtown Ladysmith are named after generals that served in the Boer War

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

B.C. homeowners plead for action on condo insurance crisis

Strata property fees growing bigger than mortgage payments

Indigenous man behind complaint of BC Transplant’s alcohol abstinence policy has died

David Dennis, who is Nuu-chah-nulth, argued that six-month sobriety policy is a ‘lethal form of racism’

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Restaurant to be converted into housing for people experiencing homelessness

BC Housing buys popular Campbell River eatery for $985,000 to serve as bridge housing

Urge travellers to follow COVID-19 rules in a ‘gentle way’: B.C.’s top doctor

Cases surging in the U.S. have B.C. officials hoping the border stays shut all summer

96-year-old woman scales B.C. butte with help of family, friends

‘I did as I was told and I enjoyed every minute of it’

Parallel crises: How COVID-19 exacerbated B.C.’s drug overdose emergency

Part 1: Officials say isolation, toxic drug supply, CERB, contributing to crisis

Most Read