Action Alert: Pebble Mine Rises From The Dead

Action Alert: Pebble Mine Rises From The Dead

One of the most long-standing and contentious environmental battles in recent memory has been provoked yet again following the installation of the new US federal administration and it's expected industrially friendly policies. Emboldened by the potential for new deregulation, the Canadian mining corporation that has been at the center of the Pebble Mine controversy in Southwest Alaska is ramping up for renewed activity amid revitalized investor interest.

The Pebble Mine controversy is not a new subject for Fly Fisherman, which has publicly opposed the envisioned operation for nearly ten years. This is consistent with the positions other leading voices in the fly fishing industry, including Patagonia, Simms, Sage and many other national and international environmental advocacy organizations. The proposed Pebble Mine is to be situated at the river headwaters upstream of the marine environment of Bristol Bay, and is slated to be the worlds largest open pit mine. Bristol Bay supports the largest runs of Sockeye salmon on earth, with the spawning runs of the fish being the basis of the ecology -- and economy -- of the region. World class fly fishing for silver salmon and enormous rainbow trout are a side aspect of the unique local biology.

Pebble Mine

Over $400 billion dollars in estimated copper, molybdenum and gold deposits on the site are being targeted for development, with extraction processes involving the spraying of hydrochloric acid on bedrock to leach the metals out of the ore matrix.  The operation would require positioning tailing lakes filled with toxic water to be held back by the largest earthen dam ever constructed -- 4.3 miles long and 730 feet high -- directly above one of the major rivers in the area.  To say that this presents a potential threat to the ecology of the region would be a spectacular understatement as well, given the example of the horrific environmental disaster following the tailing dam failure of the Mt. Polley mine in British Columbia of 2014.


Northern Dynasty Minerals, Ltd, the Canadian parent company that has relentlessly pursued the resources at Pebble for over a decade, appears to have been a relatively undercapitalized venture for a project of this scale -- if the estimated resources are accurate. Stock prices for the company have been hovering at around the $1.00USD mark for some time, but with surprise outcome of the the recent US General election, values for NDM have now more than tripled. This would seem to have spurred NDM to renew it's development agenda.


The US Environmental Protection Agency has been the primary sticking point for the project, invoking a statute from the Clean Water Act to halt development until further oversight can determine that the project becomes compliant with current regulations.  The EPA 404(c) veto authority allows the agency to unilaterally halt operations backed by the power of Federal law. The most recent reinforcement of the 404(c) provision by the EPA was in 2014, with Northern Dynasty struggling to raise capital to comply with EPA safety standards in its operations.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O25KKOnDuGI

Recent coverage by Bloomberg.com provided the following quote for investors on the subject in light of the new expected regulatory environment,  "Pebble is a really great bet," Canadian mining magnate Frank Giustra said Sunday. He said he wishes he still owned shares in Northern Dynasty after selling off his holdings last year amid a political controversy." .

However, Giustra's enthusiasm seems to be tempered by a general distaste for whatever other toxic political elements may come with new administration. "If there's only one thing good about a Trump presidency, it's that it'll be a lot easier in the resource industry in the United States to get things done," Giustra said. "That's about the only good thing."


Pebble Mine There are apparently two faces to the speculative coin, however, when the Huffington Post quoted widely regarded popular investing site Motley Fool as saying, "Regardless of the reason for this latest move higher in Northern Dynasty Minerals, your best bet is going to be keep far, far away."  This would appear to be a caution in regards to the capricious nature of the winds of politics.

The Canadian mining industry as a whole has recently come under fire for negligent and environmentally rapacious policies in operations worldwide. The New York Times recently called out charismatic Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the issue, citing human rights and environmental violations being committed worldwide by Canadian corporations that are operating under the imprimatur of his leadership.

Despite the volatility of both NDM stock and the chemical solvents that are at the root of the controversy surrounding the Pebble Mine project, what is at really at issue for stake holders here is how ethics and sustainable values are being applied to legislative policy precedents. It remains to be seen what protections American natural resources will have in the future.


Pebble Mine

Please consider signing the petition linked here to send a letter to President Trump to request that he directly intervene to prevent further development of the Pebble Mine.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Fly Fishing for Taimen in Mongolia

Fly Fishing for Taimen in Mongolia

Finding giant Mongolia taimen and a state of enlightenment.

 Getting Started In Fly Fishing

Getting Started In Fly Fishing

Getting Started In Fly Fishing

Casting Backhand in Tight Quarters

Casting Backhand in Tight Quarters

A backhand cast is when you use your backcast to deliver the fly.

Bahamas - Bonefish

Bahamas - Bonefish

Conway casts for his personal best bonefish while fishing the Grand Bahama islands.

Trending Articles

Golden riches in Wyoming's high-country heaven of the Wind River Range. United States

Wind River Range Wyoming

Greg Thomas - July 27, 2015

Golden riches in Wyoming's high-country heaven of the Wind River Range.

As you explore your home water, keep in mind what they are eating to select the best carp flies! Flies

The 15 Best Carp Flies

Jay Zimmerman - September 27, 2016

As you explore your home water, keep in mind what they are eating to select the best carp...

American River California United States

American River California

MIchael Wier - March 23, 2017

American River California

Drift boats help you search through miles of river quickly and effectively. Here's the top models on the market today. Gear

Top Drift Boats of 2019

John Fedorka - April 02, 2019

Drift boats help you search through miles of river quickly and effectively. Here's the top...

See More Trending Articles

More Industry

As reported, a man was spotted fly fishing on the National Mall in Washington D.C after heavy rains flooded the Potomac River. Industry

That Guy Fly Fishing on the National Mall

Jonathan Wright - June 11, 2018

As reported, a man was spotted fly fishing on the National Mall in Washington D.C after heavy...

Fly fishing world mourns as news breaks of well-known midwestern guides Brian Schumacher and his wife Janet Veit losing their lives in a fishing mishap in the frigid waters of Iceland. Industry

Well-Known Fly Fishing Guides Perish Tragically in Fishing Accident

Lynn Burkhead - May 22, 2018

Fly fishing world mourns as news breaks of well-known midwestern guides Brian Schumacher and...

It began with love of a river that he fished as a boy with his father, and a passion for the sport that still endures today. Industry

Abe's Fly Shop Turns 60

Jay Walden - February 22, 2019

It began with love of a river that he fished as a boy with his father, and a passion for the...

The fly fishing communities in the U.S. and Belize are mourning after twin slayings that occurred on what appeared to be a routine guide trip on Sunday, June 23, 2019 in a shallow lagoon near San Pedro, Brazil. Industry

Fly Fishing Community Stunned by Twin Slayings on Belize Saltwater Flat

Fly Fisherman Online Staff - June 27, 2019

The fly fishing communities in the U.S. and Belize are mourning after twin slayings that...

See More Industry

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.