Conservationists call on new B.C. gov’t to act on Tulsequah Chief mine cleanup – by Derrick Penner (Vancouver Sun – July 4, 2017)

Conservation and indigenous groups in Alaska are pushing B.C.’s new government to act on cleaning up the dormant Tulsequah Chief mine site near the border in Alaska’s southeastern panhandle.

The mine site has sat dormant since September 2016, when owner Chieftain Metals Corp. was pushed into receivership. But rather than allow the mine to be sold out of bankruptcy, the Alaskan groups are asking B.C. to just clean it up and shut it down.

Chieftain is now the second company that has fallen into bankruptcy trying to resurrect the Tulsequah Chief since it was shut down in 1957 by its original owner, and Chris Zimmer of the Alaska group Rivers Without Borders doesn’t want another replay of the scenario without a serious cleanup of acid-rock drainage that has poured out of the mine and into the Taku River for decades.

“What’s changed since the last time the two companies went bankrupt?” Zimmer said. “Are the economics different, do they have a new plan?”

And last week, Rivers Without Borders, along with indigenous organizations and representatives of commercial-fishing groups, issued a statement calling on the new provincial government to take a more direct interest in the cleanup.

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