Tag Archives: Pebble mine

Legislators say Pebble mine could spark a cataclysmic mistake

Claims of Gov. Mike Dunleavy to a potential investor in the Pebble mine project that the state will actively help defend the project from “frivolous and scurrilous attacks” are drawing a sharp rebuttal from 20 Alaska legislators and the Bristol Bay Native Corp. In their Sept. 9 letter to Randy Smallwood, president and chief executive officer of Wheaton Precious Metals Corp., in Vancouver, British Columbia, the legislators said that while the mine “may provide some economic benefit to Alaska, it sits near the headwaters of the largest salmon run in the world. Dewatering and re-routing these headwaters could devastate our cherished resource, as would a single cataclysmic mistake.” >click to read<  13:28

Pebble Mine: Commercial Fishermen, Indigenous People Unite to Fight Mine in Alaska

The Pebble Mine is a large deposit of gold, copper and molybdenum located at the headwaters of Bristol Bay. The deposit was first discovered in the 1980s and multinational corporations began seriously pursuing its development in the 2000s. Those who want to develop the mine say it will create high-paying jobs for locals and reduce America’s dependence on foreign countries for the provision of raw materials. Opponents say toxic discharge from the mine could foul the home of the world’s largest salmon run, bankrupting the mammoth fishing industry and destroying the local ecology. “It’s one of the unique things about this whole fight,”,,, >click to read< 10:40

EPA kills proposed Obama-era Pebble mine ‘veto’

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday it will reverse an Obama-era decision to block a controversial Alaska mine project. “After today’s action EPA will focus on the permit review process for the Pebble Mine project” Region 10 Administrator Chris Hladick said in a statement. While the EPA is withdrawing the 2014 determination, which it wrote “was issued preemptively and is now outdated,” the withdrawal does not constitute an approval of the permit application or a determination in the permitting process. “Instead, it allows EPA to continue working with the Corps to review the current permit application and engage in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process,” the statement reads. >click to read< 19:19

Today – July 1 – is the last day to comment on the plans to build the Pebble Mine near Bristol Bay. It takes only minutes to do so.

The link below is from Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay and provides a suggested comment: Please take a minute to send the Army Corps the message that we do not want the Pebble Mine. The link below goes directly to the US Army Corps of Engineers: Comments can be made here on the plans for the Pebble Mine. >click to read/comment< 19:25

Bristol Bay fishermen renew call for input on Pebble Mine as commercial fishing season opens

Commercial fishing season is underway in Bristol Bay; but instead of focusing all their attention on their catches, fishermen are focused on the future the Pebble Mine could have on their livelihood. The public comment period on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement closes July 1. “Our industry in Bristol Bay is in the fight of our lives against relentless attempts by the Pebble Limited Partnership, fueled by a ‘dig baby dig’ attitude from the US Army Corps of Engineers, to develop the world’s largest and most dangerous open pit mine at the headwaters of our fishery,” >click to read<. a lot of info, and some links to comment. 16:55

EPA officials visit Dillingham to gather opinions on Pebble Mine

Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency arrived in Dillingham Thursday morning, meeting with fishers and community leaders to gather opinions on the proposed development of Pebble Mine. “It’s important to hear people’s views on all sides of the issue,” said Matt Leopold, the EPA’s general counsel. “And here in Dillingham I can tell right away that people are opposed to the project.” >click to read<11:33

Opinion: We are an Alaska Native Corporation that backs Pebble Mine. Here’s why.

The proposed Pebble Mine places Alaska Peninsula Corporation in a unique and challenging position. Some shareholders oppose it, yet many support the economic benefits to community and personal well-being. Somehow through it all, we must strike balance.,,, There’s a common belief that resource development will kill the fishery. Unless one takes time to understand Alaska’s permitting process and proposed development at Pebble, one may likely continue to believe what certain environmental groups frequently publicize — worst case scenarios resulting from antiquated development standards of the past.  At APC, our leadership doesn’t have the luxury of making emotional decisions. Every aspect must be considered. >click to read< By Brad Angasan 16:20

OPINION: Bristol Bay’s future is in our fish and natural resources

We are just a few of the many young adults whose livelihoods depend on the clean water and pristine land that has sustained the people of Bristol Bay since time immemorial. As Pebble tries to sell Alaskans on its sham of a mine plan, this time by focusing on jobs, we want to clear something up: We oppose Pebble Mine. We want to protect the environment that provides the resources to sustain our communities and families, and we won’t stop until our work is done. >click to read<11:17

Designers of failed toxic waste dam to work on one taller than the Washington Monument. What would the salmon say?

The company that wants to mine copper and gold in southwest Alaska at the site of the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery hired a firm to design mine waste pond dams that was behind one of the worst mining disasters in Canadian history. The KnightPiésold firm designed a dam that failed in 2014 in Mount Polley, British Columbia,,,, At least 50 mine dams have failed worldwide in the last decade, including a dam that collapsed in Brazil in January, killing at least 186 people; 122 people are still missing. Alaskan fisherman Mike Fricerro told the Alaska Dispatch News, “Modern history has shown us that (catastrophic dam failures) are more likely than they want us to think.” >click to read<12:28

Fishermen’s group calls Corps’ analysis of potential tailings dam failure at Pebble ‘woefully inadequate’

A new study commissioned by a Bristol Bay seafood marketing group paints a doomsday scenario if the bulk tailings dam at the proposed Pebble mine ever suffered a catastrophic breach, an outcome the U.S Army Corps of Engineers has called very remote and one the mine developer has taken steps to avoid. Billions of gallons of mud would smother valley bottoms, covering vast stretches of salmon habitat, according to an executive summary released Friday. Finely ground-up waste material from mining would travel downstream and spill into Bristol Bay more than 200 river miles from the mine site, threatening the valuable salmon fishery. >click to read<13:16

Army Corps releases Pebble Mine draft EIS hearing schedule

The Army Corps of Engineers published the draft EIS last week, sparking comment from both Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Sen. Dan Sullivan. Murkowski said she has not made it all the way through the EIS but has started digging into the 1,400 page document. Sullivan met with reporters last week in Juneau, telling them he felt that 90 days is too short for a comprehensive comment period. The public comment period for the draft EIS will begin March 1 and end May 30, according the Pebble project website. Public hearings will be held in nine different communities between March 25 and April 16. The full schedule is as follows: <click to read<09:50

The Former Clintonite Trying to Build the Country’s Most Controversial Mine

Tom Collier is buckled into the back of a six-seat AS350 Helicopter, racing over the lowland bluffs of southwest Alaska. Clad in a black Helly Hansen jacket and baseball hat bearing the word Pebble, he doesn’t exactly look at ease, though he’ll later claim otherwise. When the chopper banks south, he reaches awkwardly for the ceiling, desperate for something to grab. Soon we pass over the Newhalen River, a rushing white torrent, then cut into the rolling hills of the Nushagak and Kvichak river drainages. The two waterways are among the wildest left in the United States , and their watersheds form a sea of tundra sedge and skinny water that produces about half of the sockeye salmon in Bristol Bay, Alaska. >click to read<11:36

State won’t support Pebble Mine, unless it can prove ‘zero impact’

Gov. Bill Walker wants to press pause on the controversial Pebble Mine project in Southwest, Alaska. Pebble is seeking federal permits on a smaller mine proposal, about half the size of the one it began pursuing more than a decade ago. But in a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers on Friday, Walker urged suspension of a critical piece of that process — the environmental impact statement — calling for proof of a “feasible and realistic” project first. “This is something that we’ve looked at very carefully, and we feel like even the project proponents are unsure of the size of this project,” said Andy Mack, Commissioner of the Alaska Dept. of Natural Resources.,, >click to read<10:45

Deadline to comment on Pebble Mine is 5 P.M. today

Please be aware that 5:00 p.m. today is the deadline to submit comments on the second proposed Pebble Mine. Online, it might only take a few minutes. Many people thought the mine wouldn’t be built, but that is not the case. The project is moving forward and a second Pebble Mine proposal is in the works. Please submit your comment online at Pebble Project EIS at www.pebbleprojecteis.com or mail comments to Program Manager, Regulatory Division U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, PO Box 6898, Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, AK 99506-0898. >click to read<10:06

Canadian investor backs away from Alaska mine project

A Canadian company that was courted as a potential partner in a proposed copper-and-gold mine near one of the world’s largest salmon fisheries in Alaska has backed away from the project.
Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd., which is seeking to develop the Pebble Mine project in southwest Alaska, said Friday that it was unable to finalize an agreement with First Quantum Minerals Ltd., the potential investor. It was not immediately clear what happened or what this means for the project, which has a permit application pending with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. >click to read<10:55

Voices of Alaska: A call to fishermen

Things are getting sideways out there in the ocean. Nearly every fishermen who’s motored in recent years along the Peninsula coast and around to Bristol Bay would probably agree. I do it every year, working my way from Kodiak to Naknek over the course of a week. And the last 10 years, with increasingly warmer water, have brought one weird phenomenon after another. Massive sea bird die offs. Whale strandings. Extraterrestial looking tropical species on the beach. The forage fish are heading for colder deeper waters at odd times.,,Now, the Pebble Mine,, >click to read<11:37

Pebble Mine: In reversal, EPA deals setback to controversial gold mining proposal in Alaska

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced late Friday that he will not scrap the agency’s 2014 determination that a large-scale mining operation could irreparably harm Alaska’s Bristol Bay water­shed.,, The announcement said the decision “neither deters nor derails the application process” for the mine. “It is my judgment at this time that any mining projects in the region likely pose a risk to the abundant natural resources that exist there,” Pruitt said. “Until we know the full extent of that risk, those natural resources and world-class fisheries deserve the utmost protection.” >click here to read< 08:54

Pebble mine opponents at Dillingham meeting hammer EPA for changed course

In close to four hours of public testimony, dozens of people told EPA staffers that large-scale mining threatens a fishery and way of life in Bristol Bay. The unanimous opinion given during Wednesday’s meeting in Dillingham, held in the middle of the work day, was that the EPA should finalize preemptive Section 404(c) Clean Water Act restrictions, not withdraw them and wait for an environmental impact statement. click here to read the story 09:30

Pebble rising?

Once thought to be on the verge of death, Alaska’s proposed Pebble prospect copper and gold mine seems to be taking on a new life. First came the July announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency of President Donald Trump that it planned to lift a proposed ban on the mine ordered by the EPA of President Barrack Obama.,,, The Pebble Limited Partnership sued the Obama administration and the EPA of Trump – taking a page from the playbook of enviromental organizations fond of filing lawsuits to leverage legal settlements – in this case negotiated an agreement allowing Pebble to apply for the necessary permits. click here to read the story 09:37

Gold vs. Salmon: How Pebble Mine Threatens Alaskan Salmon

The environment and natural resources have been a topic of great controversy in the United States and throughout the world, especially in recent years. We have always had a battle between industrialism and conservation. From one end, profits must grow, jobs must be made, and mouths must be fed. Yet from the other end, we must protect our planet, the environment, and the many species of wild animals that roam the globe.,,, In Alaska there is a hot debate going on between which is more important, salmon or gold. In 2001 a Canadian mining company called Northern Dynasty Minerals began exploring and testing an area of Alaska that is located East of Bristol Bay, North of Lake Iliamna and South West of the Lake Clark Natural Reserve. They were going off of data provided by Cominco Alaska Exploration, who in 1987 discovered a site of possible mineral wealth in the region.,,, If this article has moved you, then please do not sit idly by. Thank you Nikolai!  click here to read this excellent article 14:23

Fishermen’s voices will not fall silent

As we look to the summer ahead, the Bristol Bay commercial fishing fleet again faces a season of uncertainty. To be sure, our fishermen face unknowns every year: be it the price per pound, strength of the run, or the possibility of dangerous weather. For over a decade though, our fleet has been living with an uncertainty more dangerous than them all. After 10 years of actively fighting the prospect of a mine that could end our centuries-old commercial fishery, we go into this fishing season with the proposed Pebble Mine as close as it has ever been to permitting. The issue weighs heavy over the fleet, and there is no denying we are more than a little tired of the fight. But that is what this foreign mining company is waiting for, us to get tired and quit fighting. That’s why I am excited about a new effort; Sustaining Bristol Bay Fisheries (SBBF), founded to represent commercial fishermen in the fight to protect our livelihoods. Click here to read the rest 09:16

Not Good. Alaska approves key permit for Pebble copper-gold mine, with conditions

Shares in Canadian miner Northern Dynasty Minerals (TSX:NDM) were soaring Wednesday morning following Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) approval of a long-awaited land-use permit that clears the way for the company’s vast, but stalled Pebble copper-gold-silver project. The permit, issued late Tuesday, allows Northern Dynasty’s subsidiary — Pebble Limited Partnership — to conduct reclamation and monitoring activities at hundreds of boreholes for the next 12 months. The company, which applied for such permit in October last year, was hoping to get it until 2018. The land use permit comes after months of reviewing the application and over 1,000 public comments, the authority said. grrrrrr. click here to read the story 10:24

It’s good business to keep Bristol Bay protections

Regulations are in the crosshairs in Washington, D.C. these days. Those elected officials and appointed agency leaders have been clear in their goal to get rid of regulations they say are blocking jobs and economic activity. I humbly suggest that in this flurry to slash red tape, one Environmental Protection Agency protection should stay in place: the one protecting the Bristol Bay fishery in Alaska from the controversial Pebble Mine. I guarantee you the EPA’s plan to restrict mine waste disposal in Bristol Bay waters protects jobs and economic activity: those of my family and the 14,000 others who rely on our nation’s most valuable salmon fishery. In fact, we Alaskans call the sockeye salmon that return to Bristol Bay in their annual spawning runs “red gold.” Bristol Bay is the largest wild salmon fishery remaining anywhere in the world. For thousands of years, those fish have represented not just survival, but wealth. continue reading the op-ed here by Kim Williams 09:08

Pebble mine gets no better with time – Danielle Stickman

In early 2006, when George W. Bush occupied in the White House and the Republican Party was firmly in control of Congress, then-CEO of Canadian-based Northern Dynasty Minerals Bruce Jenkins spoke to several communities in Bristol Bay about the company’s plans to construct one of the world’s largest open-pit mines in the middle of the region we have always called home. In his mind, the mine was a done deal. In fact, there was little in the way of consultation or collaboration with the community – Jenkins stated emphatically that Pebble mine would be built. It was just a question of when, not if it would be built. Fast forward 11 years. The GOP once again controls the White House and Congress, promising to open lands to new development and roll back government regulations. Perhaps not surprisingly, a project many believed was dead has been given new life. Some investment blogs and websites are newly bullish on the proposed Pebble project. Northern Dynasty’s current CEO, Ronald Thiessen, is traveling the world to tout Pebble’s prospects, stating the Pebble Limited Partnership, a subsidiary owned and created by Northern Dynasty to develop the mine, will begin permitting this year. Forgive my skepticism about these claims. continue reading the op-ed here 08:59

Kerrisdale Capital Slams Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd – Pebble Mine shares are ‘worthless’

A New York investment firm tore apart claims by the owners of the Pebble mine project that developing the prospect is economically viable in a no-holds-barred report released Feb. 14. Kerrisdale Capital called Vancouver-based Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd., “worthless” in its 21-page report, contending sources directly involved in evaluating Pebble before Anglo American walked away from the project in 2013, despite spending roughly $500 million on it, said Pebble would cost close to $13 billion to construct, not the $4.7 billion capital cost Northern Dynasty arrived at in its preliminary project assessment. “In the past decade, Northern Dynasty has hired at least two major engineering firms to prepare preliminary feasibility studies of Pebble laying out its economics in detail, yet it has failed to publish their findings — because they were damning,” Kerrisdale alleges. Continue reading the article here 11:27

Alaskans should have the final say on Pebble Mine – Sharon and Everett Thompson of Naknek, Alaska,

Pebble Mine’s Canadian, would-be developers are ecstatically peddling a story that their mine’s approval is certain. A new Trump Administration, “desires to see Pebble permitted,” Northern Dynasty’s chief executive said Monday. Because of this, investors are piling on, sending the Northern Dynasty stock soaring in recent weeks. All of these outsiders have forgotten one thing: the Pebble Mine is proposed in Bristol Bay, Alaska, not the South Lawn of the White House. Bristol Bay supports the world’s largest run of sockeye salmon that sustains local communities, businesses and the regional economy. Alaskans hate the proposal despite “alternative facts” being pushed by Northern Dynasty in recent days claiming local support. Let the record show that 80 percent of Bristol Bay residents have said clearly that they don’t want the mine. Statewide, 65 percent of residents have said “no mine.” Read the op-ed here  The notion that the Trump Administration will approve Pebble is shear speculation on the part of Northern Dynasty. Read the story here 09:22

Voices of Alaska: Future of wild salmon depends on decisions made today, by Commercial Fisherman Steve Harrison

emmonak salmonOur state is home to the nation’s last stronghold of wild salmon and, for the most part, we have managed our fisheries well. For generations Alaskans have sustainably harvested millions of wild salmon while this amazing fish continues to return to their native streams, spawn and rejuvenate the population every year. Tasked with developing policies that protect our salmon resource, the Alaska Board of Fish uses the basic principles of sustainable yield and conservative management to drive decision-making and, by-and-large, it has worked. But managing the harvest of salmon is only part of the equation. Ensuring our salmon runs remain strong also means protecting the habitat they depend on, from the wetlands at the headwaters of the streams they spawn all the way to the ocean where they spend the majority of their lives. In recent years, pressure to allow mining and damming interests to set up shop in and around our prolific salmon streams has increased greatly, with proposed projects like the Pebble Mine, Susitna dam, and the Chuitna Coal strip mine leading the charge. Read the rest here 17:15

Seafood development association shifts focus away from Pebble Mine

The Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association took another step away from prior efforts to fight Pebble Mine with the election of a new board president. The fishing association, or BBRSDA, is funded by a 1 percent tax on Bristol Bay drift fishermen. Historically it has opposed , including spending at least a fifth of its budget on sustainability and anti-mining efforts over the past several years and a policy statement adopted in 2008 that opposed large-scale mining. But that focus has been shifting away from that work. Read the rest here 21:30

Battle Over Alaska’s Bristol Bay Pits Salmon Against Gold

Commercial fisherman, native Alaskans and environmentalist in Bristol Bay have banded together to fight the building of the mine. Bristol Bay provides 40% of America’s wild caught seafood and $2 billion dollars in commercial fishing. It’s also the single greatest sockeye salmon fishery in the world. Right now, much of the land is protected by either the federal or state governments, but not the one piece where the potential mine would sit. Read the rest here 09:44

Salmon Vs. Gold Splits Alaska GOP

There’s gold in them thar…. swamps. A lot of gold, in fact—up to $120 billion of it, lying within the Bristol Bay watershed in Alaska. Which is why a Canadian company, Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd., wants to dig one of the world’s largest open-pit mines to get it. Naturally, there’s a fight. Mines are messy, and this one—the —could threaten delicate salmon spawning grounds. But this fight is different—because there are Republicans on both sides. Read the rest here 09:26