CHESAW Kinross Gold Corp. announced Tuesday night that it plans to modify its existing water right agreement to support exploratory activity in the Okanogan Highlands.
“Crown Resources Corp. has applied for a modification of an existing water right to support its exploration activities in the vicinity of the Buckhorn Mine,” a released statement said, “Crown has requested to modify the purpose and extent of water use for this particular water right, clearly stating that this change will not increase the volume of water use nor will it impact existing instream flow mitigation requirements.”
Crown Resources is the parent corporation of Kinross.
"They're trying to establish once-and-for-all if there is any ore they can establish underground,” said David Kliegman with the Okanogan Highland Alliance. "The problem, I have is, it was hidden in public a notice, instead of coming right out.”
The proposed water-right change was published in the May 28 issue of The Chronicle as a legal notice.
According to Kinross officials, the water right modification is being conducted properly and with legal, transparent accordance.
“Changes to water rights are common, and utilize a thorough public process that allows the community an opportunity to comment on proposed changes,” the statement said.
“Kinross should control the pollution emanating from the Buckhorn Mine before it proposes to expand its operations,” Kliegman said. “It is essential that the agencies take a careful, ‘look before you leap’ approach to protect the land, water and wildlife.”
“The application for change of water rights is available to the public for review and is currently open for public comment through July 4, 2014,” the statement said.