Alaskans respond to investor analyst report about Pebble

Yesterday, a private investment management firm out of New York, Kerrisdale Capital Management, released a report about Pebble's sole investor, Northern Dynasty Minerals. The report called Northern Dynasty's claims "worthless" and the project, "not commercially viable."

Since the inauguration of President Trump, Northern Dynasty has been aggressively seeking investors and has reinvigorated a major media campaign aimed at making their risky project seem attractive. In doing so, their hope is to raise much-needed money and cross their fingers that the changing political winds at the federal level might be able to help them push the project through in the next four years. 

However, as Kerrisdale Capital points out,  

“the upfront capital costs necessary to build and operate the mine are so onerous that the mine isn’t commercially viable.”

A number of major mining investors have come and gone from the project in part due to this fact paired with the overwhelming - and unwavering - political opposition to the proposal.

Alaskans and thousands of Americans have been quick to point out that opposition doesn't change year by year, and is uninfluenced by politics. Over 80% of the Bristol Bay region opposes the project, and more than 60% of the state of Alaska in every voting precinct of the state. When the EPA asked for comments from the American public on Pebble Mine, over 90% of what they received back was in support of strong protections for the salmon and clean water of the region.

Opponents have said time and again: as long as the disastrous mining proposal remains the same size and type, and in the same location it is proposed now, it will immensely threaten Bristol Bay's world renown fishery and is unwelcome in the region.

Photo by Chris Miller

Photo by Chris Miller

Hundreds of thousands of Americans know Bristol Bay as 'salmon country.' The region sustains thousands of American jobs, an industry valued at $1.5 billion per year and Native cultures that are based off the land and water today as they have been for generations. A group including Alaska Native leaders, commercial fishermen, business owners, sport anglers, chefs, environmentalists and many others agree that Bristol Bay must be protected and there is simply no place or desire for a mega mine to threaten it all.

We were glad to see the experts at Kerrisdale Capital agree with us.

Bristol Bay’s future, like its past, will be defined by healthy salmon runs and vibrant tribal communities, not toxic projects like Pebble.
— Alannah Hurley, United Tribes of Bristol Bay

Here's what a few of the groups had to say in reaction to the news yesterday:

United Tribes of Bristol Bay

“From the start, the Indigenous people of Bristol Bay have opposed Pebble Mine because it threatens our subsistence way of life and the wild salmon it depends on. Over time, a strong and growing community of sport and commercial fishermen, the majority of our fellow Alaskans, and hundreds of thousands of Americans joined us,” said Alannah Hurley, executive director of United Tribes of Bristol Bay. “Today, we are pleased to see financial analysts reaching the same conclusion we in the region have held for years.  The Pebble project is not economically, politically, or socially viable.  Bristol Bay’s future, like its past, will be defined by healthy salmon runs and vibrant tribal communities, not toxic projects like Pebble.”  

Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay

"Jobs and way of life in Bristol Bay revolve around our wild salmon. This doesn’t change from one administration to the next and has nothing to do with copper or gold prices. We’re glad Kerrisdale Capital Management's analysts could see this and know that the opposition to Pebble Mine will never relent,” said Melanie Brown, Bristol Bay commercial fisherman. "For a decade, I’ve joined my neighbors and other Bristol Bay fishermen to oppose a project that would harm American jobs, our livelihoods and the way we put food on the table for our families year after year. Let's let this damning report be another nail in the coffin for Pebble Mine today, and we'll continue to oppose any harm to Bristol Bay salmon for as long as it takes."

Trout Unlimited

“For years, Alaskans and sportsmen have understood Pebble Mine is a bad economic idea because it threatens a world renown resource of wild salmon and trout that has provided American jobs and a once-in-a-lifetime recreation destination for anglers around the globe,” said Nelli Williams of Trout Unlimited. “A study released this morning confirms once again that this mine a bad deal for the Alaskans who would have to suffer the consequences of the project.”

Brian Kraft, owner of Alaska Sportsman's suite of lodges in Bristol Bay

“As a Bristol Bay business owner I have long believed that the best investment in the region is in the fishery, not the Pebble Mine. Bristol Bay supports more than 14,000 American jobs. For more than a decade sportsmen have joined forces with Alaska Native communities, commercial fishermen, Alaskans and Americans to protect this resource,” said Brian Kraft, Owner of Alaska Sportsman’s Lodge in Bristol Bay. “This report [from Kerrisdale Investments] confirms what we have long known about the Pebble Mine. I hope that Governor Walker and President Trump both recognize the importance of keeping this intact ecosystem and habitat functioning in its natural state. Existing American jobs, a Native Alaskan culture, the largest commercial fishery in the world, and a thriving sport fishing business all depend on it!” 

I hope that Governor Walker and President Trump both recognize the importance of keeping this intact ecosystem and habitat functioning in its natural state.
— Brian Kraft, Bristol Bay business owner

Click below to take action and tell President Trump today that you agree Bristol Bay salmon, jobs and cultures should be protected from Pebble Mine.