Residents appeal expansion of True North mine

Posted: Friday, July 05, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Residents living near the True North gold mine have filed appeals of the state's decision to approve an expansion of the gold mine, 30 miles north of Fairbanks.

Those who filed the appeals contend the state Department of Natural Resources didn't adequately address more stringent light, dust and noise controls at the mine; didn't limit the number of trucks allowed on the mine's haul road and didn't fully consider the impact of heavy metals on the environment from True North's ore.

The True North mine is operated by Fairbanks Gold Mining Inc. The public had until July 2 to appeal the state's June 12 approval of the True North expansion.

Most of those filing appeals echoed previous complaints, saying the state has ignored the concerns of residents.

The state has said it addressed concerns by requiring mitigation measures and monitoring of environmental impacts.

Fairbanks Gold Mining, Inc. wants to start work on the expansion sometime this month once it receives a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wetlands permit, said Fairbanks Gold's mine manager Rick Dye.

Staff within the Natural Resources Department couldn't comment on the appeals. Natural Resources Commissioner Pat Pourchot is not under a deadline to answer the appeals.

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