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

Island riders conquering new heights

With no races, cyclists tackle Everest challenge to lift community

Saanich police search for suspect accused of using stolen credit, debit cards

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers says suspect made numerous fraudulent purchases

Homeless woman sentenced to 18 months in jail for selling drugs to Victoria police officer

Officer paid $20 for a substance consisting of heroin, fentanyl and caffeine

Family restaurant to hold Saturday fundraiser for Beirut blast

Wrap and Roll will donate all sales to victims of blast

Police looking for witnesses of alleged assault in Burnside Gorge’s Cecila Ravine

Concerned woman pushed to the ground, had phone broken while taking a photo of a dog

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should it be mandatory to wear masks when out in public?

B.C. is witnessing an alarming rise in the number of cases of… Continue reading

Most Read