Botelho is leading negotiations between Couer and environmental groups.
The Forest Service will now evaluate the use of the Comet site on the Kensington side of the mine area for tailings storage, using "paste" technology. Paste is a variation of "dry stack" tailings storage, which was approved at the same site in 1998, following an extensive Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement process.
The new plan evolved through mediated discussions with Coeur Alaska and several conservation groups-including the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, Lynn Canal Conservation, and Juneau Group Sierra Club-facilitated through Mayor Botelho's office, to develop a tailings plan that did not involve Lower Slate Lake.
The proposed paste tailings facility takes less space, affects fewer wetlands, and requires less energy than the previouslyapproved dry tailings facility. The USFS is expected to provide for public review and comment on the Modified Plan of Operations.