Pebble Mine Proposal in Alaska Rejected Over Environmental Concerns--2nd Update
By Timothy Puko
WASHINGTON -- The Army Corps of Engineers is rejecting the
environmental plan for the massive Pebble Mine in Alaska, likely
marking an end to one of the country's most controversial plans to
extract gold and copper in a pristine wilderness.
The project would violate Clean Water Act guidelines, the corps
The Pebble Mine called for excavating an open pit to mine
hundreds of billions of dollars worth of minerals from under the
Bristol Bay watershed in Alaska's southwest. It has drawn
widespread opposition from locals and environmentalists, including
some conservatives, for the risk it poses to some of the world's
largest wild salmon populations.
The project would violate rules for disposing of "fill
material," but didn't give further details, according to statement
from Alaska District Commander Col. Damon Delarosa of the Army
Corps of Engineers.
The corps "concluded that the proposed project is contrary to
the public interest," the statement added.
For now, the decision likely ends a decades-long quest to reach
one of the largest known and untapped sources of gold and copper in
President-elect Joe Biden said this summer he would stop its
development, and company leaders have previously said they need
federal permits to bring in well-heeled partners that could pay to
help them continue.
Pebble's owners, a subsidiary of Canada's Northern Dynasty
Minerals Ltd., had once valued the ore at $300 billion to $500
billion and drew partnerships with some of the world's largest
mining companies, including Anglo American PLC and Rio Tinto PLC.
But those companies pulled out amid falling commodity prices and
growing pressure over environmental concerns.
A 2014 report from the Environmental Protection Agency said the
Pebble mine could have significant adverse effects on the region's
fisheries and the Native Alaskan communities that depend on them.
Fifteen federally recognized tribes in the region had formed a
coalition to stop it, and a poll they helped commission in June of
this year showed likely voters statewide opposed the project by a
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 25, 2020 13:26 ET (18:26 GMT)
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