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Thread: Environmental Protection: The Pebble Copper Mine in Alaska

  1. #11
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    The Pebble Mine would be required to operate under the same strict guidelines as all of the other mines in AK. The largest share of my income comes from active mines, mine closures, heap leach pads, and remediation work. Mines are operated as tightly as most Dept. of Energy Nuclear sites. Regulatory agencies are on site full time and waiting to stop work at the slightest sniff of a violation. There are always the doom and gloom potential although, NOT cleaning up the existing mines which operated through the 1960's with horrible environmental practices is far a greater injustice to the environment than opening a new mine operating with modern environmental protections and operation practices.

    The "good" about gaining our resources domestically is that we have "Standards" compared to those operated in South America and Africa. Those employ borderline slave labor, have zero environmental care and are just out to turn ore to make quick money while the initial investors prepare to walk away. Having a mine generating jobs in a semi-responsible manner using modern technology is far better than mining in third world countries when it comes down to a truly "global" green perspective.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Marvin, I do hear several ads on radio put out by the companies who are doing the fracking. The ads are purportedly the voice of an employee who also has been a lifelong resident of the area, and explaining the care they take to protect the environment. It could be "propaganda", but from the overall that I've seen written & the evidence so far it seems a reasonable way to get energy.

    I think that I'm more concerned about storing the stuff. The pipeline seems a safer way to transport it than trains. I've seen somewhere that Warren Buffett is the person who has the "lock" on the train transportation, and, of course, he'd like to continue to collect that revenue ... which will pretty much evaporate when the pipeline comes into use. I'm sure there is no cronyism involved. Obama would never do that, would he?

    The CNG ports also require a lot of infrastructure. I'm not so sure I'd feel very warm and fuzzy living near one of those with the potential for a big boom.
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  3. #13
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    This is a decent basic video showing frac process. My office in Williston, ND moves frac rigs, sets frac pad liners, drill mud liners and fresh water storage systems supporting the drill industry.

    http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=...=0&FORM=NVPFVR

  4. #14
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    We've also started doing a bit of work in your area too Gerry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul "Happy" Gilmore View Post
    The Pebble Mine would be required to operate under the same strict guidelines as all of the other mines in AK. The largest share of my income comes from active mines, mine closures, heap leach pads, and remediation work. Mines are operated as tightly as most Dept. of Energy Nuclear sites. Regulatory agencies are on site full time and waiting to stop work at the slightest sniff of a violation. There are always the doom and gloom potential although, NOT cleaning up the existing mines which operated through the 1960's with horrible environmental practices is far a greater injustice to the environment than opening a new mine operating with modern environmental protections and operation practices.

    The "good" about gaining our resources domestically is that we have "Standards" compared to those operated in South America and Africa. Those employ borderline slave labor, have zero environmental care and are just out to turn ore to make quick money while the initial investors prepare to walk away. Having a mine generating jobs in a semi-responsible manner using modern technology is far better than mining in third world countries when it comes down to a truly "global" green perspective.
    Not sure I agree with all your statements, I have been to a foreign mine & the laborers, while not making real high pay, were certainly living by fairly good standards. BTW, I will tell you that you have never experienced pain until you have a drop of Cu water drip off the back into your eye , BTDT.

    What I've seen of Pebble makes it unique, the fact that it is the starting point of a tremendous fishery alone makes it very unique. The ore will not go away, an in situ project makes more sense to me. It would just take longer & require a greater investment up front.

    As for the onsite regulators, doesn't BLM have folks to make sure the citizens receive their share when extraction takes place on federal lands. We know how that works out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    It could be "propaganda", but from the overall that I've seen written & the evidence so far it seems a reasonable way to get energy.

    I think that I'm more concerned about storing the stuff. The pipeline seems a safer way to transport it than trains. I've seen somewhere that Warren Buffett is the person who has the "lock" on the train transportation, and, of course, he'd like to continue to collect that revenue ... which will pretty much evaporate when the pipeline comes into use. I'm sure there is no cronyism involved. Obama would never do that, would he?

    The CNG ports also require a lot of infrastructure. I'm not so sure I'd feel very warm and fuzzy living near one of those with the potential for a big boom.
    It is a reasonable way to get energy.

    One only need sit at a crossing & watch the coal trains & the oil tankers go by to know it's not the cleanest way to transport those commodities. As for Buffett, Patrick Johndrow described him in a very accurate fashion.

    Storage is an issue, I would venture that the recent TX & FL incidents were the result of sloppy practices, with those kinds of investments that is usually the case. That's what was found in the investigations of airplane accidents in the majority (over 99%) of cases.

    CNG is not any different than any other utility. It's a commodity, tremendous startup expenses, with the potential return on a full facility being very lucrative. Unless you are in a startup with a niche, pipelines & the support facilites are the best long term investments. The neat thing is they can be volatile as investments.
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  6. #16
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Have to also agree with Happy that we would be more "secure" if we had most, if not all, of our energy supply on our own continent.

    I think I posted on another thread a URL about the impact of controlling the oil in the later days of WW II. Germans and Japanese had hardware, but they didn't have the fuel for the tanks and planes.

    While we are not at war now, by the traditional definition, there are enough crazies out there who could create one at any point.
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  7. #17
    Senior Member DoubleHaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul "Happy" Gilmore View Post
    NOT cleaning up the existing mines which operated through the 1960's with horrible environmental practices is far a greater injustice to the environment than opening a new mine operating with modern environmental protections and operation practices.
    I am very ambivalent about the Pebble Mine. On the one hand, I have spent a lot of time around mines--and some of the garden spots where they are located like Tocopilla, Chile and Irian Jaya, Indonesia --so I don't buy into the scare tactics of the antis. On the other, accidents do happen and the results in this particular place would be really horrible.

    I do firmly agree with Happy on the above. It is a travesty that there is not more focus on remediation of the really bad sites--there is no way that I can see that the Pebbble mine would do near the harm as these old ones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul "Happy" Gilmore View Post
    NOT cleaning up the existing mines which operated through the 1960's with horrible environmental practices is far a greater injustice to the environment than opening a new mine operating with modern environmental protections and operation practices.
    ARCO, with their purchase of Anaconda, most of the mines in the Couer'd Alene's & ASARCO in Tacoma would probably disagree with your assessment. But there may be an indirect benefit, seems that rare earths have an affinity for certain ores, & the original mining operations were not sampled for anything other than the mineral they mined. So the old tailings piles may be put back into play. It would be nice to not have to depend on China for things like Yttrium .

    I worked with a guy many years ago who bought up old claims. Stan Dempsey was quite the promoter with a supportive wife. Forbes, some time back, had an article about his mining largesse, Stan estimated himself to be worth $70 mil .

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleHaul View Post
    I am very ambivalent about the Pebble Mine. On the one hand, I have spent a lot of time around mines--and some of the garden spots where they are located like Tocopilla, Chile and Irian Jaya, Indonesia --so I don't buy into the scare tactics of the antis. On the other, accidents do happen and the results in this particular place would be really horrible.

    I do firmly agree with Happy on the above. It is a travesty that there is not more focus on remediation of the really bad sites--there is no way that I can see that the Pebbble mine would do near the harm as these old ones.
    I believe the remediation will come - where do you see it not happening?

    I've seen 1st hand what an in & out of control tailings pile can do - I've also been privy to conversations with some fairly high up folks in the mining field. I know what their goals are & how they view the environment.

    But maybe you can take the time to explain how this mine can operate as planned without disturbing this very important fishery?
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  9. #19
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/...e-pebble-mine/
    Here is an opinion piece that is counterpoint to the piece in the original post of the thread.
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  10. #20
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    From the Tacoma News Tribune, 1-22-14 editorial page:
    Quote Originally Posted by TNT
    Three years of study & review by the US EPA put science on the side of opponents of the massive copper & gold mine planned for Alaska's salmon-rich Bristol Bay.

    EPA's final watershed assessment concludes the mine is a direct threat to the health of 46% of the world's sockeye salmon. The environmental & economic devastation at risk with the proposed Pebble Mine is on an epic scale. This report helped move US senator Mark Begich, D-AK, to announce this weeks his opposition to it as the wrong mine in the wrong place.

    EPA states that up to 94 miles of streams would be destroyed. Wastewater issues & treatment failures would threaten another 48 to 62 miles of streams. Add in 5,300 acres of wetlands that would be damaged by the mining proposal, according to EPA's findings.

    Economic trauma wrought by the mine radiates out in the same concentric circles potentially suffered by the environment. The EPA report puts a value of $674 Mil on the salmon fishing & processing spread across WA, OR & CA. that translates to 12,000 seasonal jobs & 6,000 full time jobs. Bristol Bay's salmon fishery also powers trade with Japan & China. Recreational fishing also adds another $75 mil to the sum.

    Though the EPA describes the assessment as a technical resource, & not a final decision, warning lights are flashing. Hard evidence on the environmental devastation & the economic losses, & the hardships for Native alaskan cultures, all work against a terrible.
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