City wants public comments on AJ Mine Water Study

The public comment period on the AJ Mine Water Study ends March 28th.

The report is an overview of Juneau’s water system, and identifies several scenarios and management concepts, with and without a nearby operating gold mine.

For the past year, the CBJ Assembly has been investigating whether to pursue re-opening the old AJ Mine near downtown. The ore body is partially owned by the city and is in Last Chance Basin – the main source of Juneau’s water.

A mine advisory task force in May urged the city to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the water supply – hence the report. Released late last month, CBJ Engineering Director Rorie Watt has been holding a series of meetings around Juneau on the draft report. Wednesday night he told about 25 gathered at city hall that public comments are important.

“What we’re looking for is comments about the substance of the report,” he said. “We’re not really interested at this time in opinions about whether mining is a good or bad idea. The task at hand really is to thoroughly vet the water issue.”

The water study offers several scenarios, ranging from no action to leasing the AJ property to a mining company.

“Upgrading Salmon Creek or abandoning Gold Creek, or finding a new water supply or diverting the drain tunnel, or improving the mine draining system or reducing the water that flows into the mine drainage system,” Watt said.

Watt says public comments on the draft will be submitted to the Assembly with the final report.

The AJ Mine Water Study and a comment form are available on the city’s website.

The Assembly set $250,000 aside for various tasks associated with the feasibility of re-opening the AJ Mine, including the water study. Watt told the Assembly recently that about $80,000 has been spent on the project so far.

Assembly members are expected to discuss the issue on April 9th at a Committee of the Whole meeting.

Recent headlines

  • Arctic Chinook exercise concludes

    Coast Guard wraps up Arctic exercises

    The series of simulated drills was known as the Arctic Chinook exercise and wrapped Thursday morning in Kotzebue, according to a Coast Guard press release.
  • Bacteria that causes botulism.

    Science and cooking collide to fight botulism

    Scientists are trying to learn how to prevent botulism in seal oil, a main ingredient in many traditional Alaska Native foods.
  • Earthquake Simulator

    Earthquake simulator will shake up Juneau

    Alaska's earthquake simulator will visit Wednesday, Aug. 31, to Thursday, Sept. 1, in downtown Juneau giving residents some emergency preparedness practice at an event that promises to shake, rattle and roll.
  • Dan DeBartolo is one of four candidates running for the Juneau School Board. (Courtesy of Dan DeBartolo)

    School board candidate juggles race and Facebook

    The creator of the Facebook page the Juneau Community Collective is running for public office and that created a problem. He had to figure out how to continue moderating political comments on the page without falling into a conflict of interest.


Playing Now: