POA 1 Project Summary

Coeur Alaska has proposed an amendment to its Plan of Operations (POA 1) to increase tailings and waste rock storage capacity to reflect positive exploration results, improved metal prices, and ongoing operational efficiencies. POA 1 is being analyzed in a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). Project documents including the Draft SEIS (DSEIS) and public comments are available for review online at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=55533.

 

The USFS completed its public scoping process with the release of the Final Scoping Summary Report in January 2020.  The Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement was released for a 45-day public comment period by the USFS in October 2020.  The USFS held a virtual public meeting on December 10, 2020.

 

The public comment period for the DSEIS was extended from December 14, 2020 to January 4, 2021 and is now closed. The Final SEIS followed by the Record of Decision is anticipated in June 2021.

 

POA 1 is expected to allow Kensington to continue to be a major Southeast employer and provide high paying jobs and economic diversity in our region. The estimated construction program would generate direct and indirect economic impacts over a two-year construction period with planned direct employment of about 65 workers earning $6.8M in total wages each year of construction. 

For more information on the USFS SEIS for POA 1, click here:

What is POA 1?

 

The proposed POA 1 is a continuation of the safe, reliable, and proven mining practices the Kensington Mine has been advancing since production began in July 2010. The following factors were taken into consideration when designing POA 1:

  • Uses existing infrastructure and minimizes disturbance

  • Provides a net benefit for fish and wildlife by creating more aquatic habitat

  • Maintains or improves aesthetics

  • Minimizes the carbon footprint

 

The proposal to expand the disturbance area authorized under the USFS approved 2005 Plan of Operations (239 acres) by approximately 150 acres and achieve a life of mine extension of about 10 years includes the following main elements:

  • Raise the existing dam on the Tailings Treatment Facility (TTF) (adding 36 feet to the current 88-foot dam), including a causeway between the Tailings Treatment Facility and Upper Slate Lake

  • Expand three existing Waste Rock Stockpiles (WRS): Kensington, Pit #4, and Comet

  • Construct one additional Waste Rock Stockpile (Pipeline Road)

  • Relocate seepage collection sumps, access road, power line, pipelines, and stormwater diversion channels

  • Relocate ancillary facilities including the water treatment plants at the Tailings Treatment Facility area

  • Mitigate Slate Creek resident fish spawning habitat losses by constructing deltas, rerouting Fat Rat Creek into South Creek, and providing culvert replacements to promote fish passage

 

Reclamation / Closure planned under POA 1:

  • No water will be discharged into Slate Creek from the TTF until state water quality standards are met

  • 26 acres of upland will be converted to open water benefiting fish and wildlife

  • Tailings will be covered by 28 feet of water to support benthic and fish populations

  • Measures will be implemented to re-establish benthic and fish populations in the TTF; documented macroinvertebrate and Dolly Varden char seed sources around the TTF are considered sufficient to meet the reclamation goal of re-established benthic and fish populations without intervention

  • WRS will be contoured and revegetated to match existing mountainous landscape