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Canadian Press

A delegation of Alaskans is coming to B.C. to voice concerns about the Mount Polley mine disaster and the possibility of a similar environmental catastrophe occurring near their border.

The Salmon Without Borders coalition, made up of First Nations leaders, commercial and sports fishing groups and conservation organizations, says mining activities in Northern B.C. threatens the livelihoods in southern Alaska.

The coalition plans to tour the Mount Polley site where the tailings dam gave way last August, spilling millions of litres of cubic metres of mine waste into nearby waterways.

Heather Hardcastle, who supplies fresh-caught Alaska salmon to markets, says there are deep concerns over a similar tailings pond at the Red Criss gold and copper mine in northern B.C., located upstream from Alaska.

Vancouver-based Imperial Metals Corp., (TSX:III), which operates Mount Polley in central B.C., was granted an interim permit in February to open the Red Criss Mine.

B.C. Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett has visited Alaska several times in recent months to soothe concerns voiced by Alaskans about perceived loose B.C. mining regulations and the possibility of another Mount Polley-like disaster.