Pebble Mine Opponents Warn Investors of Risks

Full-page New York Times ad cites dangers of proposed project

Tribal and business leaders in Bristol Bay, Alaska, along with commercial fishermen, sportsmen, and environmental and conservation organizations are addressing the public, and the proposed gold and copper mining project’s investors, about its potential dangers.

“We will never relent in our fight against the Pebble Mine,” reads a full-page ad running today in the New York Times.

“Because Bristol Bay, Alaska, is a national treasure, and its people, wildlife, and the greatest wild salmon fishery on earth depend on it.”

Its message is unequivocal: Pebble Mine is a reckless scheme that carries unprecedented risk.

The giant gold and copper mine proposed at the headwaters of Bristol Bay’s legendary salmon runs is an ill-conceived project fraught with economic, environmental, social and legal risks.

All of Pebble’s major investors have fled the project: Mitsubishi in 2011, Anglo American in 2013, Rio Tinto in 2014, and First Quantum in 2018. 

Northern Dynasty Minerals—the sole “partner” now left in the Pebble Partnership—has said it needs $150 million to move through permitting; as of its most recent financials (March 2019), it had only $15 million U.S. in cash.

Nonetheless, the Trump administration is inexplicably fast-tracking a permit for this colossal mistake.

Make no mistake: Pebble Mine will always be the wrong mine in the wrong place.

The mine would put at risk a $1.5 billion annual sustainable commercial fishery that provides 14,000 jobs and supplies half of the world’s sockeye salmon. Salmon are not only the linchpin of Bristol Bay’s economy, but also its lifeblood, providing food, a subsistence-based livelihood, and the sustainable foundation for the language, spirituality and social structure of its tribal communities.

Bristol Bay is so special that former President Barak Obama described it as “one of Alaska's most powerful economic engines and one of America’s greatest national treasures” that is “too special and too valuable to auction off to the highest bidder.”

It’s no surprise that the Pebble Mine faces opposition from a fierce and diverse group of people, including Bristol Bay tribes, village corporations, commercial, subsistence, and recreational fishermen, hunters, lodge owners, businesses, and conservationists.

Despite this overwhelming opposition, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is rushing ahead with a fatally flawed and wholly inadequate draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The draft EIS lacks critical information and analysis and fails to properly evaluate the risks of Pebble to Bristol Bay water, fisheries, wildlife, communities, and cultures.

Tell the Army Corps to stop the mine.

About the Authors

Taryn Kiekow Heimer

Deputy Director, Marine Mammal Protection Project, Nature Program

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