A recent drill site at the Palmer Project. (Constantine Metal Resources)

A drill site at the Palmer Project north of Haines. (Photo courtesy of Constantine Metal Resources)

Due to a mistake in its public notice, Alaska’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has extended the public comment period on a controversial mineral exploration project in the Chilkat Valley.

Constantine Metal Resources has applied for permits to manage wastewater and waste rock during the excavation of a 2,000-meter access tunnel at the Palmer Project.

Wednesday was the deadline to submit comments on the permits. However, comments submitted by mail bounced back to senders because DEC failed to list a P.O. Box on its public notice.

The state agency has extended the deadline by 15 days to allow for any returned mail to be resent to DEC.

The Palmer Project has been a contentious subject in the Chilkat Valley. While some are excited about potential economic benefits of the project, others are concerned about the impact that mining could have on habitat for spawning salmon.

Dozens of comments submitted by email, including a letter from the Haines Borough, requested more time to review Constantine’s permit application.

Written comments on the proposed permit must be submitted no later than May 30th at 5 p.m. Comments can be submitted by email to kyle.moselle@alaska.gov or by mail to:

Kyle Moselle, Associate Director
Alaska Department of Natural Resources / Office of Project Management and Permitting
PO Box 111030
Juneau, AK 99811