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Be careful out there. It's getting darker. The dark is coming earlier in the afternoon and lasting until later in the morning.

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News that Ucore Rare Metals is proceeding to the next step in its process toward developing a mine at its Bokan Mountain/Dotson Ridge property on the southeast coast of Prince of Wales Island should be viewed positively — despite coming at a difficult time for the rare earth element mining sector.

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Letty Eileen Cole, 93, died on Oct. 15, 2014, in Ketchikan.
Susan Marie Mallott Patrick, 58, died Oct. 11, 2014, in Ketchikan.
Daniel Edward Hines, 47, died Oct. 11, 2014, in Juneau after a nine-month battle with brain cancer.
7/30/2014
Southeast ‘gold’

Hydropower is gold in Southeast Alaska.

With that, a $20 million loan for a new hydropower project on Prince of Wales Island is like striking gold.

The Alaska Energy Authority approved the loan in June to Haida Energy Inc. to build the Reynolds Creek project, which is about 10 miles east of Hydaburg.

The hydropower could replace the diesel power throughout the island, cutting costs of power for Prince of Wales residents.

Not only will the residents receive all the power necessary, but POW will have excess power — perhaps to be used by the Bokan and Niblack mines coming along there. Heatherdale's Niblack is a source of gold, silver, copper and zinc, while Bokan — a Ucore Rare Metals Inc. project — is a discovery of rare earth elements used in manufacturing of high technology.

The Haida Corp. and Alaska Power and Telephone Co., which comprise Haida Energy Inc. expect to complete the project in June 2016.

This loan encourages economic development for Prince of Wales Island and Southeast Alaska.