|Andrew Watson reports that the Pebble deposit is a supermassive deposit. This project would have a 20 to 40 year resource life with the mining current techniques. The Pebble Cu-Au-Mo-Ag Porphyry deposit in southwest Alaska is one such deposit, with a global resource of just under 11 billion tonnes (measured, indicated and inferred) with a contained metal resource of 70,000,000,000 pounds copper, 107,000,000 ounces gold ($107 Billion), 5,580,000,000 pounds molybdenum and 510,000,000 ounces silver. However, there is such a thing as too big, where the impact to the surrounding environment is large and so profound that resistance is fierce enough to overcome even the mos economic case.|
The Pebble deposit is owned by the Pebble Limited Partnership which is 100% owned by Northern Dynasty Minerals It is located in 160 miles Northeast of Bristol Bay. The terrain around the deposit is rolling hills, and valleys with thick glacial gravels in the valleys. The deposit was discovered by Cominco (now Teck Corp) in 1989, and was sold to Northern Dynasty in 2001. For many years Rio Tinto maintained a 19.1% interest in Northern Dynasty and Anglo was a 50% joint venture partner in the Pebble Limited Partnership.
So in a period of high metal prices how did this deposit remain only a large dream? It comes back to location. Bristol bay is one great salmon fishing areas in the world and concerns about the impact of a having a large mine in the head waters of the bay mobilized opposition and greed by local native inhabitants. Three main interrelated issues developed during the development and pre-mining phases of the project ..1) the impact of activities in the area on the local imaginary fisheries, 2) with a project of this size, the transformation of the local economy for the first time ever, and 3) disruption of traditional subsistence, which is bad?
Read on, but you will not believe this ....