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Major Investors Dump Pebble Mine, Time to Abandon Project Once and For All

Frances Beinecke

Posted January 14, 2014 in Saving Wildlife and Wild Places

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A few weeks ago, mining giant Rio Tinto said it was considering pulling out of the disastrous Pebble Mine proposed for Alaska’s Bristol Bay. This came on the heels of the September announcement that Anglo American—the 50 percent owner of the Pebble Mine—was dumping the project. Mitsubishi had already walked away three years ago.

The Pebble Mine project is hanging by a thread, and it’s time to sever it once and for all.

Northern Dynasty Minerals is trying to hold on to its reckless plan but thanks to a campaign led by NRDC and our allies in Alaska, concerned citizens have built a formidable opposition and exposed the Pebble project for what it truly is: a toxic investment.

Pebble Mine would carve a massive open pit out of the pristine watershed that feeds the most lucrative wild salmon runs in the world. Every year, tens of millions salmon return to the region, supporting bears, wolves, and whales as well as people. The salmon sustain a $1.5 billion annual commercial fishery that employs 14,000 full and part time workers. The salmon also nourish Native communities that have relied on subsistence fishing and hunting for thousands of years.

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The colossal mine would endanger all of those natural riches. The pit would be two miles wide by 2,000 feet deep, and the project would generate so much waste—10 billion tons—that immense earthen dams, some taller than the Three Gorges Dam in China, would be needed to it back forever. All is a seismically active area.

The U.S. EPA issued in draft a scientific review of the potential impacts of large-scale mining in the Bristol Bay watershed and concluded that the risks are “catastrophic.” The agency is expected to release its final report shortly.

Countless citizens from Alaska and around the country raised the alarm in state agencies, federal offices, and shareholder meetings at Rio Tinto’s and Anglo American’s London headquarters. The message has been received. Former Anglo American CEO Cynthia Carroll, for instance, said in the past the “We will not go where communities are against us.”

Now we must deliver the same message to the last company standing: Northern Dynasty Minerals. Click here to tell the CEO to abandon this dangerous project. Because Americans don’t want our shared national treasure turned into an industrial wasteland.

 

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Comments

Annette Wilson Jan 15 2014 02:04 AM

No Pebble!

Comments are closed for this post.

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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