Story last updated at 6/24/2009 - 10:46 am
The U.S. Supreme Court voted Monday to uphold a U.S. government permit issued to Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation for a tailings facility at the Kensington mine 45 miles north of Juneau.
The permit had been contested by Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, the Juneau Group of the Sierra Club and Lynn Canal Conservation, who sued, saying the permits violated the Clean Water Act, and the tailings dumped into Lower Slate Lake would kill the lake's fish. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals cancelled the mine's permits in 2007.
Monday's ruling, passed by a 6-3 vote, clears the way for the tailings facility to be built, and subsequently for production to begin at the mine, according to Coeur. Coeur estimates the mine has a potential for 125,000 ounces of annual gold production and will provide an estimated 370 direct and indirect jobs.