Title

Qualitative Assessment of Potential Hydrologic and Ecologic Impacts of the Pebble Mine, Alaska

Presenter Information

Jefferson Bortner

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom A

Start Date

17-5-2012

End Date

17-5-2012

Abstract

This paper uses existing studies and baseline data reports to evaluate nineteen categories of potentially affected resources by the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska. Of the nineteen categories of resources, five were selected for more thorough analysis; these are: surface water hydrology, groundwater hydrology, trace elements, water quality and wildlife and their habitats (most specifically salmonoid species). Specifically, this paper focuseson the methods of ore removal, denudation of waterways from the removal of 35 billion gallons of water from surface and groundwater systems, storage of mine tailings in at least two tailings ponds, creation and infiltration into the water systems of Acid Mine Drainage, potential for slurry pipe failures, dissolved copper and lastly how any and all of these could affect the water quality that salmonoid species rely upon. The importance of this study is that the site of the mine would lie at the headwaters of the largest sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus Nerka) fishery in the world. Because this mine has the potential to be the largest producer of gold and copper in the world, the debate surrounding its construction has led to the popular title of “Fish vs. Gold”.

Poster Number

8

Faculty Mentor(s)

Michael Pease

Additional Mentoring Department

Geography

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May 17th, 2:00 PM May 17th, 4:30 PM

Qualitative Assessment of Potential Hydrologic and Ecologic Impacts of the Pebble Mine, Alaska

SURC Ballroom A

This paper uses existing studies and baseline data reports to evaluate nineteen categories of potentially affected resources by the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska. Of the nineteen categories of resources, five were selected for more thorough analysis; these are: surface water hydrology, groundwater hydrology, trace elements, water quality and wildlife and their habitats (most specifically salmonoid species). Specifically, this paper focuseson the methods of ore removal, denudation of waterways from the removal of 35 billion gallons of water from surface and groundwater systems, storage of mine tailings in at least two tailings ponds, creation and infiltration into the water systems of Acid Mine Drainage, potential for slurry pipe failures, dissolved copper and lastly how any and all of these could affect the water quality that salmonoid species rely upon. The importance of this study is that the site of the mine would lie at the headwaters of the largest sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus Nerka) fishery in the world. Because this mine has the potential to be the largest producer of gold and copper in the world, the debate surrounding its construction has led to the popular title of “Fish vs. Gold”.