National Fisherman

The Pebble Partnership plans to spend $80 million this year on advancing its proposed mine in Alaska's Bristol Bay.

The proposed Pebble Mine, 200 miles southwest of Anchorage, is estimated to hold 81 billion pounds of copper, 107 million ounces of gold and 5 billion pounds of molybdenum, and is said to be one of the largest such deposits in the world. However, the location of the proposed massive open-pit mine — near the breeding grounds of the fertile Bristol Bay salmon fishery — has led to intense scrutiny by opponents of the mine who say it would damage salmon streams that are important both commercially and culturally to the region.

The Pebble Partnership is 50-50 venture between global mining companies Anglo American and Northern Dynasty. Last year, the Pebble Partnership spent $107 million on preparing the permit application for the proposed mine. To date, the partnership has spent $680 million steering the project toward development.

The $80 million spent this year will come from Anglo American, due to the way the joint venture is structured, said Mike Heatwole, Pebble Partnership spokesperson. This year's funds will be spent with the goal of developing an overall project description and toward initiating the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) permit process.

NEPA permitting represents "the very beginning" of a years-long quest to collect more than 60 permits and approvals from various federal and state agencies, all required before the mine can proceed, Heatwole said.

Read the full story at the Alaska Dispatch>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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