There is no such thing as "small" Pebble mine.

To Alaskan audiences, Pebble says they have listened to our concerns and are now proposing a "smaller mine" with less impact to the fishery. Don’t be fooled by their lies. As they promote their new "small mine" they are simultaneously attempting to attract investors. As such, their OWN WEBSITE says the truth: 

We know that the Deposit is large enough, and rich enough, to sustain production for 20 years, and quite possibly operate for generations. [...] Our current plan is for a 20-year mine. We believe it’s possible that the Deposit may hold a century’s worth of minerals.
— Pebble Limited Partnership Website, "Pebble Plan" page

And, even if they were ACTUALLY scaling the size of the mine down (they're not), the project wouldn't even be economically feasible.

“The [EPA] has reviewed [Pebble]’s robust February 2011 [SEC] filing, which suggest that a mine plan with such a short time horizon might not be economically viable and that a 45-year to 78-year time horizon is the most likely development scenario.”
— Letter from Gina McCarthy, EPA Administrator to John Shively, CEO of PLP, Sept 30, 2013

But for the sake of argument, we'll still play this out. Let's say Pebble ignores its fiduciary responsibility to investors (they won't, they need to make money) and the desires of any new mining partner (although a partner doesn't currently exist) and still constructs a "small" mine that never expands with additional phases to a larger mine, AND that they disregard that the mine would not be economically viable…. 

Science shows it would STILL have impacts to the fishery, contrary to what CEO Tom Collier claims. 

The mining of the Pebble deposit at any of these sizes, even the smallest, could result in significant and unacceptable adverse effects on ecologically important streams, wetlands, lakes, and ponds and the fishery areas they support.
— EPA Proposed Determination ES-5

(the smallest mine evaluated by EPA in 2014 was the 4.2 square miles (Pebble 0.25))

In summary, don't be fooled by Pebble's latest PR stunt. A "small" Pebble is: 

  1. Not economically viable
  2. Not even the plan the company is pitching to potential investors
  3. Still an immense threat to Bristol Bay
  4. Would inevitably be expanded
  5. Simply a PR stunt

and most importantly,

6. Not happening.