Resource Development Council

RDC Comment Letter:
Red Dog Mine Tailings Impoundment

February 13, 2008

Mr. Don Kuhle
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District
P.O. Box 6898
Elmendorf AFB, AK 99506-0898

Re: POA-1984-12-DDD

Dear Mr. Kuhle:

The Resource Development Council (RDC) appreciates the opportunity to support an expeditious approval of the permit to allow an increase in holding capacity of the Red Dog Mine tailings impoundment in Northwestern Alaska.

RDC is a statewide organization made up of all resource sectors, business associations, labor unions, Alaska Native corporations, tourism providers, local governments and individuals. RDC’s purpose is to encourage a strong, diversified private sector in Alaska and expand the state’s economic base through the responsible development of our natural resources.

The Red Dog mine, operated by Teck Cominco, is one of the largest employers in the NANA region, with the majority of employees being NANA Regional Corporation shareholders.  The mine has not only been beneficial to NANA, but with the shared wealth provision of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, it is also beneficial to the other Regional Corporations in Alaska.  In addition, the mine remains the sole taxpayer in the Northwest Arctic Borough.  We encourage the U.S. Corps of Engineers to consider the financial impacts a delay in permit approval could have on the region, and on Alaska.

This routine permit is required for continued operation, and would not create a negative impact on the environment.  This tailings impoundment increase will maintain the minimum freeboard requirements of the permit, keeping the project in compliance with regulations.

In conclusion, RDC supports the timely approval of the permit to increase the tailings impoundment at Red Dog Mine.  Thank you for the opportunity to comment.


Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc.