The AJ Gold Mine and other mines built Juneau and the city is a wonderful place because of it. The mine closed in 1944 not because it was mined out but because the workforce had gone off to defend our country in World War II. After the war, prices were low and the mine was not economically feasible to operate. That situation has changed. Given the current record high prices, the mine holds about a billion dollars in gold ore. Estimates are that the reserves are at least 780,000 ounces. Today is an ideal time to time to re-open the AJ Gold Mine. The City and Borough of Juneau owns most of the property in which the mine is located with Alaska Electric Light and Power owning the remainder.
Juneau citizens will benefit from a mine re-opening with job opportunities. The average mining wage in Juneau is approximately $80,000 compared to the average State of Alaska wage of approximately $40,000. The benefits of these high paying jobs exends outward to the rest of the communty as these workers buy homes and autos, pay taxes, shop in local stores, etc.
The CBJ stands to collect significant revenue in the form of royality payments, taxes and other fees. This revenue stream will benefit all residents
So the question now is whether the CBJ is willing to promote re-opening and make an effort to attract a developer.
Many Juneauites are rightly concerned about the impact this project will have on their quality of life, in particular the clean water supply, most of which is currently supplied to the city from Last Chance Basin near the mine site. However, we can sucessfully have both the mine and a clean water supply. Technology and mining practices will allow for the watershed to be protected and for the mine to operate in a manner that minimizes impact to the lives of Juneau residents. The modern permitting process provides multiple safeguards and should be allowed to evaluate the project as intended.
- Click here to read an editorial column by Benjamin Brown about the need to think rationally when considering the AJ mine project, pubished in the Juneau Empire
- Click here to read the AJ Mine Advisory Committee report to the CBJ Assembly.
- Click here to read the testimony First Things First Alaska Foundation gave to the ad hoc AJ Mine Advisory Committee.
- Click here to read bullet points for testifying on the pre-conditions imposed by the AJ Mine Advisory Committee.
- Click here for information received and produced by the AJ Mine Advisory Committee.