Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay Alaska, USA


<div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Description</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld"></td><td class="columns">The area of Bristol Bay in Alaska is home to one of the greatest runs of wild sockeye salmon, over two dozen Alaskan Native Communities and extensive deposits of copper, gold, and other minerals. The proposed mine by the Pebble Limited Partnership at the headwaters of the Nushagak and Kvichak rivers would be the largest open pit mine in North America at 2 miles across and 2,000 feet deep. The billions of tons of mine waste would be dumped into man-made lakes created by flooding 10 square miles of land behind earthen dams more than 600 feet high. The environmental risks of this project are enormous, but equally important are the devastating repercussions the mine will have on the indigenous peoples of Bristol Bay, who have lived on these lands for generations and depend on the bay’s salmon for their survival. Due to the remoteness of the location the Native Communities rely on surrounding natural resources including salmon that would be greatly affected by the approval of the Pebble mine. Additionally, the mine would affect the economic success that comes from tourism within the surrounding rivers. </td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Basic Data</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Name</td><td>Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay Alaska, USA</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Country</td><td><a href="/country/united-states-of-america">United States of America </a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Province</td><td>Alaska </td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Site</td><td>Bristol Bay </td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Accuracy of Location</td><td>MEDIUM regional level</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Source of Conflict</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (1st level)</td><td>Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (2nd level)</td><td>Mineral ore exploration</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Specific Commodities</td><td><a href='/commodity/copper'>Copper</a><br /><a href='/commodity/gold'>Gold</a><br /><a href='/commodity/iron-ore'>Iron ore</a></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Project Details and Actors</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Details</td><td class="columns"><div class="less">The mine will be a two-mile wide pit that could produce 2 billion metric tons of acid-producing ore. For the mining process two vast tailings reservoirs and a 3,286-acre waste rock pile, and an 86-mile service road with pipelines, processing facilities, power plants, and</div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none">other industrial infrastructure [1]<br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Project Area (in hectares)</td><td>16187.426</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Population</td><td>Rural</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Potential Affected Population</td><td>7,500</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Company Names or State Enterprises</td><td><a href='/company/pebble-limited-partnership'>Pebble Limited Partnership <small>(PLP)</small></a> from <a href='/country-of-company/united-states-of-america'><small>United States of America </small></a><br /><a href='/company/northern-dynasty-minerals'>Northern Dynasty Minerals</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/canada'><small>Canada</small></a> - <small>Owner and primary funding of Pebble Mine </small></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Relevant government actors</td><td>United States Environmental Protection Agency <br/><br/>U.S. Army Corps of Engineers</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Environmental justice organisations and other supporters</td><td>Trout Unlimited’s Alaska program<br/><br/>Natural Resources Defense Council<br/><br/>Our Bristol Bay <br/><br/>Orvis<br/><br/>Renewable Resources Coalition<br/><br/>International Federation of Fly Fishers<br/><br/>United Fishermen of Alaska<br/><br/>Alaska Independent Fishermen’s Marketing Association <br/><br/>Bristol Bay Regional Development Corporation<br/><br/>Alaska Native subsistence users represented by Nunamta Aulukestai,<br/><br/>Alaska Native Inter-Tribal Council and regional tribal and village councils<br/><br/>Local lodge owners and guides, such as Brian Kraft, owner of Alaska Sportsman’s lodge</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">The Conflict and the Mobilization</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)</td><td>MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">When did the mobilization begin</td><td>PREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Groups Mobilizing</td><td>Fishermen<br /> Indigenous groups or traditional communities<br /> Local ejos<br /> Local government/political parties<br /> Neighbours/citizens/communities<br /> Social movements<br /> Ethnically/racially discriminated groups<br /> Recreational users<br /> Local scientists/professionals</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Forms of Mobilization</td><td>Development of a network/collective action<br /> Involvement of national and international NGOs<br /> Official complaint letters and petitions<br /> Public campaigns<br /> Arguments for the rights of mother nature<br /> Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment<br /> Boycotts of companies-products</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Impacts</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Environmental Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Mine tailing spills, Other Environmental impacts</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Health Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Socio-economic Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Outcome</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Status</td><td>Planned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Pathways for conflict outcome / response</td><td>Strengthening of participation<br /> Under negotiation<br /> Application of existing regulations<br /> Project temporarily suspended</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Do you consider this as a success?</td><td>Not Sure</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Why? Explain briefly.</td><td>While the Pebble Mine is still proposed there are local EJOs, large environmental organizations and other supporters have created a strong resistance to try and prevent the ecological and economic consequences that the mine would create. </td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Sources and Materials</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">References</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Bristol Bay, National Wildlife Federation<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.nwf.org/wildlife/wild-places/bristol-bay.aspx" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Honoring the River, National Wildlife Federation April 2013<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.nwf.org/pdf/Tribal-Lands/Honoring%20the%20River%20Report.pdf" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Our Bristol Bay<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.ourbristolbay.com/the-bristol-bay-protection-effort.html" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Alaska Department of Natural Resources - Pebble Project<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/mining/largemine/pebble/" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> [1] Honoring the River<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.nwf.org/pdf/Tribal-Lands/Honoring%20the%20River%20Report.pdf" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Save Bristol Bay campaign<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.savebristolbay.org/" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> The Huffington Post on the Pebble Mine<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tag/pebble-mine-bristol-bay/" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Meta Information</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Contributor</td><td>Sara Orvis, University of Michigan School of Natural Resources, [email protected] </td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Last update</td><td>06/04/2015</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div>
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