RDC NEWS DIGEST
Fort Knox Gold Mine reaches safety milestone
In March, Kinross’ Fort Knox Gold Mine near Fairbanks announced employees had worked more than three million man-hours without a lost time incident. The mine also has logged three years without a lost time incident, another major safety achievement.
Mine officials hailed the milestone as a major accomplishment, noting it reflects the dedication and commitment to safety among mine workers.“Reaching this record clearly demonstrates the Kinross Fort Knox team’s passion for safety,” said Lauren Roberts, Vice President and General Manager at the mine.“We all recognize that safety is the bedrock foundation of a well-run, efficient and productive work environment. I am proud to be part of such a conscientious team,” Roberts said.
Kinross Fort Knox attained the one million man-hour without lost-time incidents milestone in 1999, 2001, 2004, 2006, and 2008. The mine surpassed the two million man-hour milestone for the first time in 2009.
The Fort Knox Gold Mine is located 25 miles northeast of Fairbanks and employs nearly 500 local residents in full time jobs. The mine produces nearly 300,000 troy ounces of gold annually and has produced more than 4.5 million ounces of gold since starting commercial operation in 1997.
18th Annual Coal Classic Golf Tournament
The 18th Annual Coal Classic Golf Tournament in support of Alaska Resource Education (formerly AMEREF) will be on Wednesday, June 16 at the Anchorage Golf Course. For sponsorship and participation information, please email email@example.com or visit: akresource.org today!
Alaska challenges EPA move to regulate greenhouse gases
The State of Alaska filed a motion in court to intervene in a lawsuit over a recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decision that triggers expanded federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. In challenging the EPA’s decision in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the Parnell administration seeks to join several states and trade groups, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“Alaska is challenging a decision that, by EPA’s own admission, will vastly expand the EPA’s regulation of all sectors of the state’s economy,” said Governor Sean Parnell. “We remain concerned the EPA is extending its authority too aggressively and in a manner that harms the state’s interests.We will continue to fight this type of federal overreach.”
At issue is the process EPA used in finding that six greenhouse gases contribute to global climate change, endangering human health and welfare and the substantial regulatory implications of that finding. The state is not challenging the science on climate change underlying EPA’s decision. Rather, the state is challenging EPA’s position that Congress intended the agency and states to regulate greenhouse gas emissions through the permitting requirements of the Clean Air Act, as well as the process by which the EPA came to this decision.
Pebble Partnership to invest $72.9 million in Alaska this year
The Pebble Limited Partnership (PLP) will invest up to $72.9 million in Alaska this year to advance the project toward permitting. The partnership’s main objectives in 2010 include advancing a prefeasibility study and continuing environmental baseline studies and site operations for drilling activities.
“We are pleased to be continuing our work program in Iliamna, as that is where local benefits really manifest via direct hire and working relations with area businesses,” said John Shively, the Chief Executive Officer of PLP. “Our goals remain to develop a technically feasible, commercially viable and environmentally responsible plan for developing the Pebble deposit.This will present Alaskans with a clear understanding as to the opportunity that Pebble could present for the region and for the state.”
In the remainder of the year, PLP will complete a workforce development plan and continue a Driller Apprenticeship program initiated in 2009 to help local and regional workers become certified drillers.
PLP expects to begin its summer drilling program in May.
“There are two key documents that stakeholders should anticipate for review in advance of permitting,” Shively said. “First is the Environmental Baseline Document, which will compile data and analysis from five years of environmental studies. Second is PLP’s preliminary development plan, which will be shared with regional stakeholders in advance of filing for permits. Both are essential for advancing the project into permitting.”
Environmental baseline research underway at Pebble represents one of the most comprehensive collections of scientific data ever compiled in Alaska for a mining project.The studies are part of the National Environmental Policy Act review process which requires that federal agencies consider environmental impacts of a project and provide reasonable alternatives for consideration.The process will provide extensive opportunity for public comment and is expected to last at least three years.
Tileston Award nominations close May 15
The nominations for the 2010 Tileston Award will close May 15.
The Tileston award was created to acknowledge individuals and/or businesses that create solutions and innovations advancing economic development and environmental stewardship. The award is named in honor of two long-time Alaskans, Peg and Jules Tileston, who worked on seemingly different sides of conservation and development issues, but who always agreed “that if it is in Alaska, it must be done right.”
The award is presented on behalf of the Alaska Conservation Alliance (ACA) and RDC.
The Kinross Fort Knox gold mine near Fairbanks, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) and three seafood processors in Unalaska were selected last year for the Tileston Award. In 2008 the award was presented to the Alaska Board of Forestry.
To nominate a company or individual for this year’s award, complete the nomination form at: tilestonaward.com