Two huge mining companies propose to build a combination open pit and underground mine near the headwaters of two of the major rivers of the Bristol Bay watershed. One of the rivers feeds into Lake Iliamna, the largest lake in Alaska and the eighth largest lake in North America. It is hard to turn in any direction in Dillingham and not see the icon in the middle of this flag on Ole's house.
will have a 740 foot tall, 4.3 mile long earthen dam to retain the water and other stuff used to extract the copper, gold and molybdenum. The current value of the deposits are estimated to be as high as 1/2 Trillion Dollars. The proposed site is less than 19 miles from the nearest shore of Lake Iliamna
and less than eighty miles from the summit of active volcano Iliamna
in the Pacific "Ring of Fire". 75 miles away is Mount Augustine
in the Cook Inlet, a very active volcano. Volcanic Mount Redoubt
is 100 miles away. Anchorage, which suffered a huge 9.2 earthquake in 1964
, is about 200 miles away. Anchorage had a small 4.2 within the last two weeks. I do wonder how a 740 foot tall, 4.3 mile long earthen dam might fair in a significant earthquake.