The Alaska Department of Natural Resources announced last week that Stuy Mines has applied for a hardrock exploration permit along Kaskanak Creek, southwest of the Pebble deposit.
The Stuy Mines company, registered in Washington state, is proposing a multi-year hardrock exploration program, which would include 12 holes a year. The activity could start after the state issues a permit and continue through 2027. To access the site, the company has plotted a pathway that it says mostly follows existing gravel bars along Iliamna Lake and that it would grade existing gravel only where necessary.
A joint news release from the Bristol Bay Defense Fund blasting the Stuy filing cited the EPA’s recent decision to veto the proposed Pebble Mine. The coalition, which includes the United Tribes of Bristol Bay, SalmonState and Katmai Services Provider, says the decades leading up to that decision show that Bristol Bay residents don’t want mining in the region. They also reiterated calls for watershed-wide protections against mining.
“We have always opposed mining around Kaskanak Creek and will continue to be vocal in our opposition to projects like this that threaten our pristine waters, salmon, landscapes, and way of life,” Igiugig Village Council President AlexAnna Salmon said in the news release.
Salmon said the creek is the home of Igiugig’s ancient villages and is important for traditional hunting and fishing. She said the village council is counting on leaders in Washington to enact protections for the entire watershed.
The deadline for public comments on the Stuy Mines application is March 14.
Written comments, questions or requests to view the full application packet can be directed to Sara Church at 907-458-6896, faxed at 907-451-2703 or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Correction: The exploration activity could start after the state issued a permit until 2027, not between 2024 and 2027 as originally reported.
Get in touch with the author at email@example.com or 907-842-2200.