To the editor: Kinross is devolving from a good corporate citizen, one we had come to trust over the last 25 years. Their main concern now seems to be shifting from safety and good environmental stewardship to that of maximum profit for their investors and stakeholders.
The trucking plan for the Manh Choh mine represents the lowest cost solution for increasing their profits. It is not the only option, despite Kinross’s claims, nor is it the best one from the point of view of the public.
The true cost of this plan is hidden in terms of increased risk of highway accidents (human cost), accelerated degradation of our already crumbling roads and bridges (infrastructure cost) and increased air and noise pollution (environmental cost). I would add potential economic loss as tourists and even local hunters and fishers will be discouraged from traveling a main road in the Interior.
All of these costs will fall on Alaskans to bear, not on Kinross. I think Alaskans should have a bigger voice in these impactful plans.
A better option would be for Kinross to work with the state of Alaska to extend the rail line. Though this would initially cost more and take longer, it will provide many jobs for Alaskans, and once completed Alaska will have a rail upgrade that will move us closer to the goal of a connection with the Lower 48, all while saving lives, our critical infrastructure and our health.
Kinross must understand how one-sided their trucking proposal strikes those all of us who will have to live with it’s effects. They publicly say it will only be four or five years of operation, but if you read what they are telling Wall Street investors, this mine is proving to be “world class.” They have an additional 675,000 acres to use for expansion so it is likely to last 25 years. I doubt the public will soon think so highly of Kinross.
Kinross needs to stop devolving into a corporate bully and do the right thing for Alaskans.