September 18, 2013                 

  Pebble Mine project still on track, say developers                              Northern Dynasty logo

 This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – The Pebble Mine is still on track, say developers. More after this —

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 News on Monday that Anglo-American has withdrawn from the Pebble Mine partnership was greeted with joy by mine opponents. Pebble would be the largest gold and copper mine in North America, and its location looms over the world’s biggest sockeye salmon fishery at Bristol Bay

 It’s a major, major victory for the people of Bristol Bay and more importantly, a victory for the resources.  

 Robin Samuelson of Dillingham is an outspoken opponent of the Pebble Mine. His family has lived and fished in the region for generations.  

 But even though London- based Anglo-American has pulled out of the Pebble Partnership, Northern Dynasty Minerals of Canada still remains. The project is still very much alive, cautions Bob Waldrop, director of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Marketing Association funded and operated by more than 1,800 salmon fishermen. He says their work will continue –  

 This does not eliminate development of Pebble Mine. This just means we’re back to Northern Dynasty, which is where we were before Anglo came in several years ago. Northern Dynasty will shop around and in all likelihood will find another partner. So we are not going to rest on this news and we will pursue our ongoing strategies as well as that long-term one of a permit solution.

 Northern Dynasty now takes over sole ownership of all the mining claims. Unlike Anglo American, which is one of the world’s biggest mining companies, Northern Dynasty has never operated a mine.   The Partnership had announced release of a mine plan by year’s end with a goal of beginning permitting shortly after.  The time line could change, but the project will proceed, says Northern Dynasty’s Vice president of Public Affairs Sean McGee

 Nothing has changed in terms of the mineral resource and the asset that exists in Southwest Alaska. Pebble remains one of the most important undeveloped mineral resources in the world with the potential to facilitate very significant capital investment and economic growth through decades. It needs to be developed right, and that means in a way that is acceptable and beneficial to local people and in a way that protects the fish and water of the region. But there is tremendous potential and the corporate changes really don’t shake our confidence in the potential of the deposit whatsoever.

 Thanks to the assist from KDLG in Dillingham.      

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. ( In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.