In August 2015, Constantine Metal Resources Ltd. of Vancouver, British Columbia submitted a plan with the Bureau of Land Management to extend their existing access road by 2.5 miles including a switchback road leading to a staging area for equipment and facilities at the 800 ft. level on the side of the approximate 1,700 ft. high mountainside. In the photo above, a proposed bridge crossing Glacier Creek would be located in the shadow area on the left side the photo with a switchback road leading from the Glacier Creek bridge to the staging area for helicopter and ground-supported activities. The road would also provide access for up to 40 new exploration drill sites.
The road extension project requires Contantine Metal Resources to submit a new plan due to that their proposal puts Constantine Metal Resources beyond the current limits of their current permit for five acres of ground disturbance. The new proposal requires public, stakeholder, and agency review, including a National Environmental Policy Act Analysis.
Constantine Metal Resources along with investment partner Dowa Metals & Mining Co., Ltd. of Japan is exploring a potential site for a mine on the steep mountain slopes pictured above Glacier Creek. This area above Glacier Greek near Mount Henry Clay, known as the Palmer Deposit, is located near mile 40 of the Haines Highway. Constantine Metals Resources says they plant to continue the exploration phase of their projects for the next five to 10 years.
The minerals that Constantine’s drilling explorations have found are primarily copper and zinc, with significant amounts of gold and silver. Exploratory drilling to refine the location and mineral amounts are the current focus of the company.
If approved and developed, the mine, near Haines, Alaska would be an underground mine. Besides the actual ore deposits, having the nearby highway access for transporting ore to the deepwater port at Haines is also attractive to Constantine.
Support for a large scale mine such as the Constantine project is divided among residents of Haines, a small community in Southeast Alaska 75 miles northwest of Juneau. The community’s needed economic boost from jobs, development and other mine support that a large-scale mine brings is tempting to some. To others, anything that might put the salmon spawning and rearing habitat and watershed resources at risk is simply unimaginable and unacceptable. Of particular concern is copper and other heavy metals in mine waste leaching into the Klehini River and the Chilkat River 14 miles downstream. Copper and heavy metals are toxic to salmon and bald eagles.
The Chilkat River chum salmon are the primary food source for one of the largest gatherings of bald eagles in the world. Each fall, bald eagles congregate in the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, located only three miles downriver from the area of current exploration.
A proposed bridge crossing Glacier Creek would be located in the shadow area in the lower center of the photo above with a switchback road leading from the Glacier Creek to the staging area for helicopter and ground-supported activities on the left mountain slope. Pictured in the background is the nearby Klehini River (visible) and Haines Highway (not visible).
- PHOTO GALLERY – Photos of Constantine Metals Palmer Project area of exploration
- ROAD EXPLORATION PROJECT SUMMARY to Bureau of Land Management
- CONSTANTINE METAL RESOURCES LTD. – Palmer Project
- HIGH COUNTRY NEWS – Could an Alaska mining project jeopardize Earth’s largest bald eagle gathering?
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