Pebble Partnership willing to discuss concerns over mine project

View the original story here.

The Pebble Partnership says it wants to have a dialogue about many of the concerns raised about its proposed copper, gold, and molybdenum mine.

During a presentation at the annual Resource Development Council Conference, Pebble Partnership CEO Tom Collier said he's heard a lot of complaints and criticisms.

"We think it's time to talk about weather this project should be as big as we've talked about in the past or should be smaller," said Collier.

He said he also wants to have conversations about profit sharing for Alaska Native Village Corporations and recognized concerns he's heard from fishermen that runoff from the mine will destroy the Bristol Bay salmon fishery.

"We believe we have answers to those concerns but I think they've got an apprehension about the vulnerability of that fishery, whether we're there or we're not," said Collier.

The Pebble Partnership is currently in litigation against the Environmental Protection Agency for alleged misconduct.

The Pebble Partnership says its investigation has found government emails that prove the EPA wanted to kill the project before any scientific studies were conducted.

"Before they did the science they knew they were going to kill the project, they designed the science to kill the project and then they attempted to kill the project," said Collier.

Former Alaska Senate President Rick Halford is opposed to the mine. He has expressed concerns about the mine's size, location and impact on the Bristol Bay salmon fishery from sulfur.

"That's a very dangerous element to leave in this watershed, the last of its kind known on earth," said Halford.

He says the EPA listened to the people of Alaska before proposing to block the deposit of the Bristol Bay watershed for the disposal of dredge or fill material.

"The bottom line is EPA listened to the people of Bristol Bay, listened to the people of Alaska. Alaskans are opposed to the project, local people are overwhelmingly opposed to the project. The science is clear and the industry itself has rejected the project and left hundreds of millions of dollars on the table in doing so," said Halford.

Both Anglo Amerian and Rio Tinto have left the project.

The Inspector General's Office is conducting an investigation into alleged misconduct by the EPA, but those results haven't been released.

  • Copyright © 2015, KTUU-TV