Awestruck by the glacier-streaked mountains jutting from the ground and the powerful flowing Chilkat River slicing through the deep valley, Joe Ordonez moved to Haines, Alaska in 1987.
Now, 29 years later, Ordonez is fighting to preserve that same natural grandeur – which includes a world-renowned bald eagle preserve – from a proposed copper, zinc, silver and gold mine upstream.
“It’s a terrible location for a mine,” says Ordonez, who previously worked as a naturalist on cruise ships, work which took him from the Amazon to Antarctica, and who today operates a tour guide company in the region. “I’ve worked in all seven continents. I’ve seen the most amazing places in the world and here’s one of them right where I live in Haines, Alaska. It’s just not worth the risk. “
Where many see an unspoiled paradise brimming with wildlife, others see money and minerals.
Constantine Metal Resources, a mineral exploration company based in Vancouver, British Columbia, believes the proposed mine location – known as the Palmer Project – is rich in copper and zinc as well as gold and silver.
Backing the penny stock company is Japan’s Dowa Metals and Mining Co, a multinational that is providing Constantine with $22-million in exploration funding over four years in return for a 49 per cent interest in the project. Executives from Constantine did not return calls from National Observer.
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