A major potential backer of the controversial plan to develop one of the world’s most precious salmon fisheries has pulled out of the project.
Northern Dynasty Minerals (NDM) has announced that First Quantum Minerals (FQM), a Canadian mining company, will not participate in the Pebble Mine project, a plan to develop the Bristol Bay region of Alaska.
It had been expected that FQM would be a major financial partner, potentially becoming a 50% owner of the proposed mine. In a press release, NDM announced that it was unable to come to an agreement with the company on joining the project and the proposed agreement has been scrapped altogether.
The news has been celebrated by delighted anglers and conservationists. Bristol Bay provides 40% of America’s wild-caught sockeye salmon. Developing a large mine in the headwaters of Bristol Bay will have catastrophic impact on the people, fish and economy of the region.
Overcoming this setback presents a significant challenge for Pebble Mine, but the long-running fight is far from over. The Pebble Partnership still has an application pending with the US Army Corps of Engineers to move ahead with plans to build its massive surface mine.