Carr Pond “Mining Affected Area” by Craig Terrell
Contact: Lindsay Newland Bowker, Environmental Risk Manager November 12, 2013
207-367 5145 email@example.com
Globally respected Geo-Physicist Dr. David Chambers has been retained to re assess 20 years of scientific data on the Bald Mountain deposit compiled by Bowker Associates of Stonington Maine . The project will specifically address the level of environmental risk presented by the deposit and the limits, if any, of known technology and approaches to effectively mitigate and control those risks. This aims at the heart of the premise on which Maine rewrote its mining statute, the claim that modern technology can solve all problems.
Bald Mountain, even among a class of deposits (Volcanogenic Massive Sulfide “ VMS” ) considered very high risk has an extremely high risk profile. JD Irving , owner of the mountain and 1.25 million surrounding acres, has brought about a revisitation of Maine’s law and policy on Metallic Mining. In 1990, looking at the environmental risks on behalf of Boliden, top consultant Mac Roberston ( SRK) said the deposit could not be developed open pit top to bottom without causing significant off site degradation that would require waivers from environmental law. We have asked Dr. Chambers whether any technology has emerged since 1990 to change that and whether there any best practices “Go” options for the deposit taking into consideration both risk and proven technology .
Lindsay Newland Bowker, Environmental Risk Manager , Stonington Maine, will coordinate and direct the project through her non profit in formation, Bowker Associates, Science & Research in the Public Interest.
The study was designed and primarily funded by Bowker Associates
Over the course of his 35 year career, Dr. Chambers has addressed virtually every phase of mine exploration, planning, operations and closure and has experience at VMS deposits in similar climates to Maine. He will speak from this universally respected experience and expertise to this 20 years of data on Bald Mountain and its relevance today for Maine Mining policy.
Background Fatal Flaw Analysis ”Go NoGo Decisions” on Mines
“GO/NO Go “decisions are routinely made very early on in the exploration phases of a deposit including reassessment of previously mined deposits through a process called “fatal flaw analysis” The shrinking global market of mine investors and underwriters require a consideration of environmental risk. That this is a de facto consensus policy among responsible mine developers speaks to the myth that any mine can be developed without environmental risk through modern technology. Partners just withdrew from the large high grade Pebble Mine in Alaska citing uncertainty about control of environmental damages in their statement. Rio Tinto, at the direction of its investors and underwriters, is the first major global mining company to incorporate an environmental risk based “NO/GO” threshold early on in explorations before it invests resources in advanced explorations and pre feasibility studies that can take many years and costs $millions.
This project will address how public policy can drive to an early “GO/NO GO” Exploration Phase decision on whether the prospects for management and control of environmental risks are good enough to allow permitting to go forward. Some of the questions we have asked Dr. Chambers to address are:
- In the normal flow of a mines development how early in the process can that decision be made?
- In the normal flow of things will the public sector and the private sector arrive at the same decision at the same point in the process.?
- What are the key indicators of a “NO/GO” based on Natural Resources Protection given best practices, best available technology and measured environmental risk
This project was informed by and builds on CSP2’s important 2005 work “Framework for Responsible Mining . “ A global “responsible-source minerals dialogue” hosted by Tiffany & Co., EARTHWORKS, and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) resulted in a call for a summary co authored by Dr. Chambers. The framework identifies best practices in metallic mining and in its first chapter considers “GO/NO GO” thresholds.
Back Ground on Project Principals
Dr. David Chambers is President of the Center for Science in Public Participation (CSP2), a nonprofit corporation headquartered in Bozeman Montanna and formed to provide technical assistance on mining and water quality to public interest groups and tribal governments.
Before forming CSP2 Dr. Chambers had 15 years of management and technical experience in the mineral exploration industry, and for the past 20 years has served as an advisor on the environmental effects of mining projects both nationally and internationally. He is a registered professional geophysicist (California # GP 972) with a Professional Engineering Degree in Physics from the Colorado School of Mines and a Masters Degree in Geophysics from the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Chambers received his Ph.D. in Environmental Planning from Berkeley. His doctoral dissertation analyzed the U.S. Forest Service’s efforts to plan for and manage minerals in the National Forests Dr. Chambers also is a frequent contributor of science & research informing further development of Canada’s MEND ( Mine Evironmental Neutral Drainage) Program.
Lindsay Newland Bowker is a recognized expert in Environmental Risk Management., Heavy Construction Risk Management and Marine and Transit Risks and has more than 3 decades of engagement in building public policy. Bowker Associates, Science & Research In The Public Interest, is an independent non profit (in formation) providing analysis on key issues with a potential for massive adverse environmental impact in Maine. Bowker Associates has deeply engaged and been a public voice in the Searsport DCP LPG Tank, the Cianbro proposal for a Private East West Toll Road, JD Irvings rolling pipeline of Bakken crude to its plant in St. John and review of Phase II plans at The Callahan Superfund site in Brooksville, Maine