Objection period begins on proposed Kensington Mine expansion

The final supplemental environmental impact statement and draft record of decision for the Kensington mine expansion has begun an objection period, ending Aug. 23, for anyone who provided input during previous comment periods.

Those commenting during this period must have submitted comments previously, during the initial scoping period in September 2019 or the comment period for the draft EIS in October 2020, said Matthew Reece, project manager for the U.S. Forest Service.

Kensington mine, an underground gold operation, is located on the east side of the Lynn Canal, some 45 miles north-northwest of Juneau. Kensington is owned by Coeur Alaska, a subsidiary of Coeur Mining, a precious metals mining firm listed on the New York stock exchange. The Kensington property includes 14,000 acres of mineral claims

Coeur requested an operations plan amendment for additional tailings, waste rock disposal and related infrastructure at the mine. Proposed activities would extend the life of the mine and allow for continuous site operations beyond the current predicted life of the mine until 2021. Forest Service officials said the amended plan would add a decade to the mine’s expected life, extending operations to 2033. The mine provides some 368 jobs in Juneau and Southeast Alaska, they said.

The objection period for the draft record of decision is part of an ongoing collaborative public process to resolve concerns before the final decision is made. Only those who submitted specific, timely comments during any of the designated opportunities for public comment may file an objection to the final EIS and draft record of decision.

Objections may be submitted at cdv.tiny.us/kensington, emailed to objections-alaska-regional-office@fs.fed.us, faxed to 907-586-7840, or sent by regular mail to Regional Forester, USDA Forest Service, Alaska Region, 709 W. 9th St., P.O. Box 21628, Juneau, AK 99802-1628.

Project information, meeting announcements, legal notices, and documents are available on the project web page at cdv.tiny.us/kensington