Coeur Continues Appeal for Original Tailings Plan Permit
Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation on Sept. 23 announced that, due to further substantial delay in the Environmental Assessment process triggered by a federal agency's recent actions, the company has requested the Forest Service to terminate the permitting process for a potential alternative Kensington paste tailings plan.
The company continues to pursue its original tailings plan for Kensington, which is pending in the U.S. Supreme Court. A decision on the appeal is expected in the first or second quarter of 2009.
The alternative paste tailings plan had been originally submitted to federal agencies for permitting in January 2008, and permits were expected in the third or fourth quarter, 2008. However, as part of the federal agencies' comments to the ongoing Environmental Assessment work, the Environmental Protection Agency has now stated it wants Coeur to evaluate yet another new and different alternative for review and raised other issues regarding the modified plan proposal.
The agency comments triggered potentially months of delay and substantial issues in completing a timely modified plan review.
Separately, the U.S. Supreme Court has granted the State of Alaska and Coeur Alaska's Petitions for a writ of certiorari to review a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision relating to the original Kensington 404 tailings permit, which had been determined by the federal agencies as the environmentally preferred option.
A final Supreme Court decision, expected early next year, may allow for construction to take place next year, leading to potential production in late 2009.
Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation is the world's largest, U.S.-based publicly traded silver producer, as well as a significant gold producer.