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HomeThe 907Greens Creek Mine expansion comment period ends Tuesday

Greens Creek Mine expansion comment period ends Tuesday

The U.S. Forest Service’s public comment period for the draft supplemental environmental impact statement for the Greens Creek Mine North Expansion Project reaches its deadline next week.

The comment period, which began on March 24, is an opportunity for interested individuals and organizations to voice their opinions on the proposed expansion. The deadline for submitting comments is May 23 at 11:59 p.m. Alaska time.

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The Greens Creek Mine, operational since 1989, is planning to expand its current tailings operations and extend production beyond 2031.

Situated on both private and public lands, including a portion of the Admiralty Island National Monument, the mine is near Hawk Inlet, about 18 miles southwest of Juneau, and is the largest private-sector employer in Juneau. The mine supports approximately 494 jobs and contributes $76 million in total annual wages to the local economy. Access to the mine, which is operated by Hecla Greens Creek Mining Company, is by sea and a 13-mile access road.

The Greens Creek Mine is an underground cut-and-fill and long-hole stoping operation that uses flotation and gravity processes to recover silver, gold, lead, and zinc. Power is supplied by local hydroelectric-powered utility with diesel generators as a backup.

The mine operates 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2020, Greens Creek produced approximately 10.5 million ounces of silver, 48,491 ounces of gold, 56,813 tons of zinc, and 21,400 tons of lead.

Over the years, the Forest Service has conducted four National Environmental Policy Act reviews for the existing Greens Creek Mine facilities. This supplemental environmental impact statement serves as a further evaluation of the proposed expansion project, assessing its potential environmental consequences and ensuring compliance with regulations.

The economic significance of the Greens Creek Mine is profound for the region. Each year, the mine purchases goods and services worth approximately $65 million from more than 350 businesses across Alaska. It holds the highest taxable assessed property value in Juneau and contributes $2.5 million annually in property and sales taxes.

The Alaska Resource Development Council is encouraging people to voice their support for “Alternative D: B Road West Relocation 2” to the U.S. Forest Service. By doing so, they can help facilitate responsible mining operations and secure critical jobs.

For further information about the Greens Creek Mine and the proposed expansion project, check out this link. Detailed project documents, including the DSEIS, can be found on the U.S. Forest Service public project page.

Ways to comment:

Read the RDC’s full action alert with points the group wants people to consider making.

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Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.


  1. If a mine works in a National rain forest area so it will work in a pebble project nestled miles from nowhere. Yes for both responsible projects. Economy trumps fear and they are safe and effective for our environment.

  2. Stephen; People of Alaska, U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers, EPA and anybody else with any brains will never allow 796 square miles of open pit mining by a foreign owned company on the spawning grounds of worlds largest Red Salmon Run.

      • Wayne is incorrect. Keeping that red run healthy is a conservative value. President Trump said no on pebble, denying ACE permits.
        Greens creek mine good. Pebble bad.
        My advice to you and foreign owned Northern Dynasty, ”Stay The hell off Pebble Creek” 😉

    • What rot, 3rd. You do know that mining has been going on in the vicinity of Juneau for the last 150 years, right? Your theory that mining = no salmon has been disproven for a century and a half in Juneau.

      Second example comes from the Ugashik fishing district in Bristol Bay. Chiginagak is an active volcano that feeds into the watershed. It has an active crater lake that periodically breaches, feeding water, acids and dissolved metals downstream. Your position that any mining disaster will do the same thing to everything downstream from Pebble killing off all the salmon forever is a disproven theory. Why? Take a look at commfish take from the Ugashik district, little to no change in salmon catch following three known breaches in the 1950s, 1970s, and 2004 – 2005. Your theory that mining = no salmon is once again disproven.

      All it takes to disprove a theory is a single data point. I just gave you 150 years of them from two locations in Alaska, which promptly moves your claims from theory to faith.

      Pebble is gonna get dug. The real irony is that it is gonna be absolutely necessary to bring us into the shiny new renewables / EV world you on the left so desperately want to go. Thanks for playing. Cheers –

      • You are grossly incorrect. If I forwarded your piece to ACE, President Trump and the EPA they would laugh.
        I was for Greens Creek by the way 😉
        At pebble there are hundreds of small lakes and streams chocked full of Salmon fry each spring and would be at ground zero if pebble were ever allowed. Besides after 18 years of studies the government does not wan’t it. Stirring up ground causes acid generated sulfides in that area EPA has found.
        Mean time, study before you write 😉


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