MAC: Mines and Communities

Letter To Editor, Prince George Citizen

Published by MAC on 2007-02-17

Letter to Editor, Prince George Citizen:

17th February 2007

Kemess North shouldn't be allowed to procede

by D. Fox

Kemess mines seems to be determined to pollute Duncan Lake.

A review panel is analyzing the gold and copper mines application. The panel's time extension has upset CEO Ken Stowe. He was hoping for quick approval.

He dangles the job carrot and insists the Kemess North expansion plan will not proceed without approval to pollute Duncan Lake. He tells Citizen reporter Gordon Hoekstra "other options are too expensive" but hasn't told anyone to my knowledge what the "other" options are.

Kemess has now operated several years. Gold and copper exceeds expected yields. Gold and copper prices have risen and seem to have bright futures.

Readers, please note that Kemess South uses a manmade tailings pond. A man-made dam at the lower edge of a dry mountain valley holds the contaminated mine waste. No fish had to die, no animals were denied their watering hole and few First Nations hunted there.

Duncan Lake is a very different story. Six to seven kilometers long with approximately 20 kilometers of shoreline, abundant with fish, watering hole to thousands of animals and birds and a long revered bountiful hunting area of First Nations. A high elevation lake near the headwaters of the Finlay River Watershed.

Two thousand Scientists recently warned the world to expect more rain, higher snow packs and flooding. The review panel and CEO Ken Stowe should heed these warnings. Kemess admits polluting the lake will kill all the fish, knows it will kill or harm animals and birds and affect the traditional hunting of First nations. My guess is cancers will appear in animals, birds and effect food chains and First Nations who harvest in the area.

During construction it was well known that Kemess North deposit existed. All of Kemess South's facilities will service the Kemess North expansion. Transporting the ore further is required. Ken Stowe should seriously rethink his waste handling.

Premier Gordon Campbell wants B.C. to be the greenest, most environmentally friendly province. I doubt that polluting a sensitive ecosystem popular with First Nations will get approval from the three-member review panel.

Put a "real" plan together CEO Ken Stowe, it may not make you "as" popular with Kemess shareholders, particularly the "huge" shareholders. Polluting Duncan Lake should never happen.

All such applications should be vetoed and never waste taxpayers dollars being considered. We need to learn to say NO, when things don't make sense.

-- D. Fox

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