Clips From the March 24 Ports & Harbors Committee Tell the Real Story

Written by Shannon Donahue

April 11, 2022

As the Haines Borough barrels ahead to develop shipping facilities at Lutak Dock, they’ve been talking in-depth with the Yukon mining industry about how best to design Phase III and beyond to accommodate ore shipments, while simultaneously telling the community they are not developing an ore facility.

These short clips from the March 24 Ports & Harbors Committee meeting demonstrate what’s really going on.

We’d Need That Platform

Haines Harbormaster discusses the elevated platform the Borough wants to build in Phase III. Kells Boland, representing the Yukon mining industry responds, “within two years, we’re going to have to have a system in place to handle Minto’s mineral exports. If Haines is gonna fit into that system, we’d need that with that platform available.” Is that why Haines Borough is rushing forward with Phase III while dismissing community concerns?

Minto Mine

Yukon government tidewater access consultant, Joel Schiriff advises the Haines Harbormaster on how Phase III can be adjusted to better serve Minto Mine.

Very Much Encouraged

Haines Ports & Harbors Committee Chair (now removed from that position) is very much encouraged that the Borough’s Phase III plan meets the needs of the Yukon mining industry in the short term. “And as improvements and adaptations come along, we should be able to meet [long term needs] as well.”

No One Say Ore Terminal!

After discussing how Phase III plans and incremental development on into the future, Haines Ports and Harbors Committee discusses how to “frame this” to the community to avoid a “firestorm.” Haines Chamber of Commerce representative remarks that no one said “ore terminal.” Haines Borough and the Chamber are bending themselves into pretzels to avoid calling this an ore terminal!

Talk About the Road

Haines Borough Assembly member discusses how the Haines Highway is being completely redone to accommodate heavy ore trucks. “By the time you guys are ready for anything BIG BIG, the whole highway should be redone.”

Haines as a Mineral Export Facility for Yukon

Yukon mining industry representatives discuss their plans to use Haines as a mineral export facility for Yukon with the Haines Ports and Harbors Committee on March 24, 2022. But really, the Borough isn’t developing an ore transport facility? Also known as an ore terminal?

Haines Harbormaster and Yukon Mining Industry Talk Phase III

Haines Harbormaster explicitly discusses building on the Phase III Lutak Dock design incrementally over the years to better serve Yukon ore exports as demand increases. “We have that one elevated dock platform. In my mind, it’s a pretty simple ordeal to add two more in between the dolphins to allow for multi loading points for a ship.” Yukon industry rep discusses how the Phase III platform can be expanded on to better meet their needs.

Will Your Community Embrace Us?

And finally, the Yukon mining industry asks the Haines Borough Ports and Harbors Committee, “will your community embrace us?” It’s up to us to say, No. We will not embrace the Yukon mining industry’s dirty ore in our community.

Submit your written comments to the Haines Borough Assembly by 5 p.m. today, April 11, to afullerton@haines.ak.us, or make a public comment at the Assembly meeting Tuesday, April 12, at 6:30 p.m. over Zoom only. Zoom information and meeting documents are available here.

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