It’s Time to Abandon the Pebble Mine Project Once and For All

Written by Frances Beinecke, President, NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council)

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 of 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.

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 hold it back forever. All in a seismically active area.

Last week, the U.S. EPA issued its final scientific review of the potential impacts of large-scale mining in the Bristol Bay watershed and concluded that the Pebble Mine poses significant — even “catastrophic” — risks to this American natural treasure.

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 that, “We will not go where communities are against us.”

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

Photo credit: NRDC

52 comments

Jim Ven
Jim Ven8 months ago

thanks for the article.

Oleg Kobetz
Oleg Kobetz2 years ago

Thank you

Michaela Carlsson

Once up on a time goldmining just kill people who get into it by them selves. Now it destroy Environment and other species around the planet but gold still has this blinding power to the human species so I guess there must be a huge effort for all to try stop this madness and save what still can be saved...

Lynn C.
Lynn C.2 years ago

I have a dream....could this really happen?

I hope, I hope, I hope.....

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W.2 years ago

Teresa,
you took action on January 25, 2014

Laura Saxon
.2 years ago

It sure is. Thanks for sharing.

Borg Drone
Borg Drone2 years ago

it's way past time..

Liliana Garcia
Liliana Garcia2 years ago

Signed. Northern Dynasty really thinks very highly of itself. Just look at the pompous name! Good Grief!

Bill K.
Bill K.2 years ago

Please stop, PLEASE!! Nope, that's not gonna do it. KEEP THE PRESSURE ON!!

Birgit W.
Birgit W.2 years ago

Thanks for the article.