Opponents petition Pebble Mine executives to abandon the project

September 22, 2009 

BRISTOL BAY -- Opponents of the proposed Pebble mine representing eight Native village corporations sent a letter to a global mining executive Tuesday asking her to abandon the Pebble project.

The coalition, called Nunamta Aulukestai, told Anglo American chief executive Cynthia Carroll that opposition to the mine is "overwhelming and unwavering" in Bristol Bay communities despite the outreach efforts by Anglo and its partner, Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. The two companies jointly own the Pebble mining claims.

To buttress that claim, Nunamta cited a poll it recently conducted of 411 Bristol Bay residents this summer. The poll indicated that 79 percent of those surveyed were opposed to the Pebble project. Over the past few years, the project's opponents in the region have raised concerns about the proposed mine's impacts on Bristol Bay's world-class salmon runs.

An Anglo executive based in Alaska said Tuesday that his company will respond to the letter and is sensitive to residents' concerns about Pebble.

But the executive, Paul Henry, said that there is no mine proposal at this time, and it's premature to make a decision on the project because it would be based "purely on speculation."

Henry noted that other Native corporations and some tribal and village councils have lent support to the Pebble project.

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