Information on mining should come from experts

Posted: Tuesday, May 24, 2005

On May 11 on Homer's KBBI Round Table, three opponents of Northern Dynasty's Pebble gold project treated Kenai Peninsula listeners to riveting radio programming rivaling Orson Well's production, "War of the Worlds." Sadly, their doomsday predictions concerning the Pebble project were as firmly rooted in science as Well's cruel joke on the American public.

Clearly, the three men sharing their apocalyptic visions of the project know very little about mineralogy or the extraction process Northern Dynasty intends to use.

At one point, one of the participants fumed that eventually, the 4 billion cubic yards of tailings would all turn into sulfuric acid. This is an impossibility, as a later caller pointed out. Then this speaker back-pedaled, stating that they were all "just volunteers" and they really don't know very much about the project.

In fact, the panelist who spoke with the greatest authority cited as his credentials that he lives near three open-pit mines in Montana.

Forming nonprofit corporations geared toward opposing big companies and their projects can provide folks with a good livelihood and instant yuppie sainthood.

The Pebble gold project has the potential to do a great deal of good as well as a lot of harm. For everyone's sake, let's make sure the people discussing this project know what they're talking about. And let's make sure that these 2,000 good jobs aren't scuttled by people who hope to parlay their opposition into full time jobs.

Eric Treider, Soldotna



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