January 8, 2016

Bureau of Land Management
Glennallen Field Office
Attn.: Constantine
P.O. Box 147
Glennallen, AK 99588-0147

Re: Plan of Operations for the Palmer Project

To Whom It May Concern:

The Resource Development Council (RDC) is writing to urge the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to approve the Plan of Operations (PoO) for the Palmer Project near Haines.

RDC is a statewide business association comprised of individuals and companies from Alaska’s oil and gas, mining, forest products, tourism and fisheries industries. RDC’s membership includes Alaska Native Corporations, local communities, organized labor, and industry support firms. RDC’s purpose is to encourage a strong, diversified private sector in Alaska and expand the state’s economic base through the responsible development of our natural resources.

The Palmer Project proponent, Constantine Metal Resources, Ltd., has proposed a 2.5 mile road that follows the general path of an existing cat trail from 1977, and re-establishes road access to the core area of activities. The road, which follows a natural path through the valley and has been designed to avoid and minimize environmental impacts, will bring the total disturbance to over five acres, triggering the need for a PoO and National Environmental Policy Act review by BLM.

The Palmer Project which has already begun and will continue to benefit the local economy through exploration spending which will increase as the project advances. The project will also benefit the community and state through job creation. It is estimated 300 workers will be needed when the mine goes to full operation.

The selected route was designed by qualified experts who reviewed the aquatic biology, cultural resources, geotechnical engineering, rock geochemistry, water quality, wildlife, and wetlands data to design a road that is safe, responsible, and will meet regulatory requirements.

Data from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has shown that the waterways within the road area are all non-fish bearing. No fish are present and no fish habitat will be disturbed.

Additionally, the road will offer better access for exploration, environmental, and geotechnical studies, and will also improve the safety of workers.

When the road is approved, it will include a reclamation plan to return the area to a natural setting and a bond will be in place. Furthermore, the proposed activities at the Palmer Project are all consistent with the land use management plans in the area – Borough, State, Alaska Mental Health Trust, and BLM plans.

Alaska has a long history of mining despite the limited infrastructure and access in our state. Approval of this PoO will encourage investment and further activities in the area. RDC urges the BLM to approve this plan in a timely manner.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this important project.


Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc.