Resource Development Council

U.S. Supreme Court Decision Upholds Kensington Mine Tailings Permit

June 22, 2009

In a landmark decision for future mining in the state of Alaska, the U.S. Supreme Court today upheld the Kensington Mine Tailings Permit in a 6-3 ruling. The decision clears the way for completion of the only item remaining to be constructed, the tailings facility, by the mine owner, Coeur. Production is expected to commence in the second half of 2010 providing much needed job growth and economic stimulus to Southeast Alaska.

RDC has been intimately engaged in this issue over the years, ultimately filing an amicus brief before the Supreme Court on behalf of its members. The brief, authored by RDC Board member Michael Jungreis of the law firm Hartig, Rhodes, Hoge, & Lekisch may be found at:

'RDC applauds the Supreme Court’s decision,' said Jason Brune, RDC Executive Director. 'This decision is a victory for Alaska jobs and will restore Alaska’s ability to responsibly develop our natural resources. We believe the Court clearly made the right decision in reversing the Ninth Circuit’s erroneous interpretation of the Clean Water Act’s permitting requirements
which threatened to halt future mining projects and undermine Alaska’s economy.'

Many RDC members have responded to Kensington action alerts and participated in public comment periods over the years. We are grateful for the diverse support Kensington received. This is yet another example of how RDC's diverse members continue to help grow Alaska through responsible resource development.

A copy of the Supreme Court decision may be found on our website at: