Anglo American, a London-based company that was one of two major partners in a highly controversial gold and copper mine proposed in the Bristol Bay area called the Pebble Mine, today pulled out of the project citing financial risks. The other partner, Canada-based Northern Dynasty, says it will move ahead with its plans for the expansive mine. Responding to concerns from nine federally recognized tribes, commercial and sport fishermen, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment to determine the significance of Bristol Bay’s ecological resources and evaluate the impacts of large-scale mining on Bristol Bay resources. EPA has received more than 895,000 total public comments on the watershed assessment, and approximately 654,000 of those were from people urging the EPA to reject the Pebble Mine project. The overwhelming majority of comments from Alaska residents were opposed to the mine.
The following is a statement from Tom Waldo, Earthjustice attorney:
“The fact that Anglo American thinks the Pebble Mine is too risky speaks volumes. It’s too risky for investors, and it’s far too risky for Alaska. Alaskans don’t want this mine; 84 percent of Alaskans who commented on EPA’s watershed assessment were against this mine. And 650,000 Americans have joined to ask EPA to say no to the Pebble Mine, which would destroy vital habitat for the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery and jeopardize the fishing jobs, businesses, and way of life that go with it. EPA should follow suit and take action to protect the salmon and water resources of Bristol Bay.”