March 4, 2009
Redcorp Granted Bankruptcy Protection (PDF)
Implications for the State of Alaska's permitting efforts have not yet been determined.
Revised Air Cushion Barging Proposal
Project Status – June 27, 2008
The State of Alaska's Large Mine Permitting Team (LMPT) reviews Canadian mining projects, like the Tulsequah Project, which could potentially impact Alaskan waters and fish resources. The LMPT is focusing their review on project components that could potentially have direct impacts to water quality or fish habitat. The LMPT reviews project documentation to ensure that: water treatment systems can realistically meet Canadian water quality standards (which are similar to Alaska’s) at the mine site; tailings storage facilities are constructed to be geotechnically stable; groundwater water quality is protected and contingency pump-back systems are appropriately designed; and access roads are constructed and maintained in a manner that protects fish resources.
The British Columbia government has already issued an Environmental Assessment (EA) Certificate allowing the project to proceed, subject to obtaining final construction and operation permits. However, the applicant, Redfern Resources Ltd. (Redfern), has sought to amend its EA Certificate to allow for operation of an Air Cushion Barge (ACB) on the Taku River, as an alternative to construction of the previously approved 100 mile road from Atlin.
Because the ACB and its tow vessel would require Alaska permits, the LMPT is involved also with the review of permit applications for those Alaska components. Redfern’s original proposal involved the use of a new kind of amphibious vehicle, an Amphitrac, as the tow vehicle for the ACB. Recently (late June, 2008), Redfern has proposed to replace the Amphitrac with a combination of tracked and low-pressure rubber-tired tow vehicles.
Under the B.C. Mines Act, Canadian agencies are reviewing minesite development plans and the LMPT is participating in that review process. Those plans include the designs for the tailings storage facility - this design must ensure that the facility is geotechnically stable, and that groundwater is protected - as well as the water treatment system and other components. The B.C. government recently approved Phase 1 construction which allows for excavation and segregation of acid generating mine waste at the site in order to address negative water quality issues stemming from that waste. Redfern has initiated airstrip and localized road construction under Phase 1 of their Mines Act permit and is conducting near daily barge trips (Summer, 2008) in support of those activities.
The proposed Tulsequah Chief Mine is located in British Columbia, Canada, on the Tulsequah River near its confluence with the Taku River, approximately 19 miles from where the Taku River crosses the US/Canada border. The Taku River flows into US marine waters, approximately 10 miles southeast of Juneau, and is the largest salmon producing river system in Southeast Alaska.
The proposed mine would mill 2,000 tons per day, producing copper, lead, zinc, gold, and silver concentrate and would have a mine life, base on current reserves, of approximately 8 years. The project is owned by Redfern Resources Ltd., a Canadian company based in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Mines operated at this location from 1937 to 1957. There is existing acid mine drainage from the historic workings that is leaching into the environment and potentially affecting spawning and rearing of anadromous species important to commercial, sport, and personal use fishing in Alaska. The acid mine drainage could potentially result in exceedances to Alaska’s water quality standards downstream. Redfern has been partially treating this drainage using a passive treatment system.
For an up-to-date listing of Tulsequah Chief Project Documents Under Review in Canada, visit:
TULSEQUAH CHIEF BARGE TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM
PRELIMINARY EAO DOCUMENTS FOR REVIEW
On January 14, 2008 the BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) made the following preliminary documents available for review:
Operating Constraints for ACB Operations on the Taku River (PDF) (posted 1/22/2008)
Issue Tracking Tables prepared by Redfern Resources Ltd.
EAO TULSEQUAH WORKING GROUP AMENDMENT REVIEW WORKSHOP February 14 & 15, 2008, Vancouver, BC
Tulsequah Project Feasibility
Study Results (PDF)
(News Release 1/27/07)
2005 PROJECT DOCUMENTS
Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Public Notice Documents (2005)
For More Information Contact
P.O. Box 111020
Juneau, AK 99801
400 Willoughby Ave., 4th Floor
Juneau, AK 99801
Fax: (907) 465-3886