Northern Dynasty Minerals, the company backing the proposed Pebble mine, and potential financial backer, First Quantum Minerals, announced the two were “unable to reach agreement,” and have terminated their framework agreement. The announcement means Northern Dynasty is left once again as the sole backer of the mine proposal, with four failed attempts to gain financial partnership. Hunters and anglers, tribes, commercial fishing organizations and concerned Alaskans had repeatedly called for First Quantum Minerals to abandon the partnership agreement since it was announced in December 2017.
“Pebble Mine is a bad idea no matter how you look at it, and today’s news confirms this once again. After taking a closer look at the project, four major financial partners have walked away from this mine proposal, and the science says Pebble would cause irreversible harm to salmon. Widespread opposition in Alaska has been driven by the fact that it would turn one of the world’s most productive salmon landscapes into an industrial mining district and unnecessarily risk the region’s fishing, jobs and communities. It’s time for Northern Dynasty Minerals to listen to Alaskans, pack up, and go home,” said Nelli Williams, Alaska director of Trout Unlimited.
On Monday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers posted “project updates” to its scoping website that Pebble Limited Partnership provided to it on May 11, 2018. These updates increase the size and scale of the proposed Pebble mine project and move key facilities. No maps were included in the brief, 5-page document, and numerous questions remain unanswered, including the project’s financial feasibility.
“The writing is on the wall for the proposed Pebble mine. We should stop wasting American tax dollars reviewing a project that cannot prove economic viability, doesn’t have a financial partner, keeps changing, and faces widespread opposition from local communities, a majority of Alaskans, and millions of Americans. The mine’s permit review process should be suspended,” said Williams.