A Canadian First Nation is suing to stop the reopening of the Tulsequah Chief mine, located in the Taku River watershed about 40 miles north of Juneau.
The Taku River Tlingit First Nation filed the lawsuit against British Columbia’s environment minister, Environmental Assessment Office and Chieftain Metals Inc., the company seeking to reopen the 1950s-era mine. The Taku River Tlingit are seeking to void the environmental permit issued to the mine in 2002, arguing that it is outdated and also that they were not properly consulted about plans to restart operations at Tulsequah Chief.
The permit, known as an environmental certificate, originally went to Redfern Resources, the prior owner of Tulsequah Chief. But when Redfern went bankrupt, Chieftan Metals took over the permit when it assumed ownership of the mine four years ago. Chieftan has been trying to raise money to restart the defunct mine since then.
Tulsequah Chief has been releasing acid mine drainage into a tributary of the Taku River for some 60 years.
Read more and listen to a radio story about the lawsuit.