Wednesday January 11, 2023

The Wildlife News

In December, the Pedro Bay Native Corporation (PBC) in Alaska placed 44,000 acres of its property under a $20 million conservation easement that may be the nail in the coffin for the proposed Pebble Gold and Copper Mine in Bristol Bay.

The Pebble Mine ore deposit is considered the second-largest ore body of its type in the world. However, most of the ore is low grade which requires significant processing. Hence the need to move the ore from the mine site on a tributary to Bristol Bay waters to a shipping port at Pile Bay on Cook Inlet.

The mine would be an open-pit mine a mile square in area and a third of a mile deep. Ponds would be dammed to contain tailing, including some toxic materials. A 165-mile natural gas pipeline would be constructed to provide power for the operation and 80 miles of road and pipeline to transport the mined concentrate to Cook Inlet.

Pedro Bay Corporation (PBC) oversees 92,100 acres of surface land allotted under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. Pedro Bay village is located on the eastern side of Illiamna Lake, Alaska’s largest lake. A short road currently connects the village and lake with salt water at Pile Bay on Cook Inlet. Development of the Pebble Mine has been predicated on constructing a haul road from the mine site along Lake Illiamna to Pile Bay so that ore can be shipped economically for processing.

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