Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

January 22, 2013

'NO! Gold Mercury Mine' in Alaska Protest Jan. 22, 2013

Paula Ayunerak and Cecilia Tucker of the Yukon-Kuskokwim 
Delta region of Alaska clean fresh-caught 
salmon at their fish camp.
 Photo courtesy of Gunnar Ebbesson

TODAY! Alaska 'NO!' to Barrick and Nova Gold's Donlin Gold Mercury Mine

Media Alert: No Donlin Gold Mercury Mine in Alaska 

A mega mecury "gold" mine with a list of problems financed by Barrick Gold and Nova Gold
What: Donlin Gold EIS scoping meeting
When: January 22, 2013 6pm
Where: Wilde Martson Theatre, Loussac Library 3600 Denali Street, Anchorage, AK

By Alaska's Big Village Network, Carl Wassilie
Center for Water Advocacy, Nikos Pastos
Alaska Inter-Tribal Council, Delice Calcote
ANCHORAGE -- A group of concerned global citizens, indigenous peoples and Yup'ik fisherpeoples are demonstrating opposition to the proposed Donlin Gold mine in the Kuskokwim watershed at the Donlin Gold Environmental Impact Statement public meeting in Anchorage, Alaska. The groups have concerns about one of the worlds largest proposed mega-gold mines that has a footprint that extends into the Alaska marine transportation corridor. The proposed mine's impacts will result in permanent changes to the Kuskokiwm River's Yup'ik peoples' cultural survival, subsistence resources, and health. This mine brings enormous cost to fish, wildlife, peoples and habitat with the massive amount of contaminants; such as mercury, arsenic and selenium, that are to be permanently leached into the Kuskokwim watershed.
Barrick Gold has a history of contaminating peoples' water supply on a global scale and Nova Gold has a history of mishaps in Alaska including the complete failure of the Rock Creek mine in Nome, Alaska, in which 'streamlined permitting' killed 2 workers and resulted in terrible planning for the water balance of the mining operation.

The groups would like to ensure there are comprehensive studies to address the transportation and storage of extremely toxic elements and compounds, like mercury; as well as addressing the risks and threats to communities along all of Alaska's coastline along the transportation routes. Donlin Gold's proposal does not have existing baseline science to determine the comprehensive mercury risk from "cradle to grave" on the health of the people and environment, considering the multitude of pathways that mercury bio-accumulates in the human body.

Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) is a major concern of these groups in the proposed Donlin Gold mine. AMD can cause severe health, reproductive and developmental impacts to living organisms; including humans. Some of these concerns have been discussed extensively in the EPA's draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment with the Pebble Mine.

The groups are calling on Anchorage and Southcentral Alaska residents to get involved in this Donlin Gold EIS to ensure baseline science and gas supply feasibility studies are included for the proposed 313-mile 14-inch gas pipeline from Cook Inlet to the middle of a Kuskokwim wilderness area with no infrastructure and declining supplies of natural gas in Cook Inlet. 

Alaska's Big Village Network, Carl Wassilie 907-382-3403
Center for Water Advocacy, Nikos Pastos 907-764-2561
Alaska Inter-Tribal Council, Delice Calcote 907-563-9334

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