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JUNE 2018

Final days of scoping



Public input is an important part of the Pebble permitting process. Scoping, when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) determines what should be addressed in its Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), is drawing to a close this Friday, June 29. What do you think the Corps should consider?

How to comment
The fastest way is to visit the Pebble Project EIS website and submit online.

What's been said already
More than 11,600 comments have been submitted or logged onto the website so far. You can see them all online. You can also review a Preliminary Scoping Report. There will be a final version of this report after the scoping period ends.

What you should know
The mine plan has changed. Pebble Limited Partnership submitted this list of changes to the Corps in May, which includes differences in mining and milling rates, pipeline diameter, tailings storage facility location, size of the water management pond, and a new strategy for lightering concentrate on barges to deeper water. These will likely not be the last changes to the plan.

It's not a vote. It may feel good to express your support for or opposition to the proposed Pebble mine, but your comment will be more effective if you focus on what the Corps is asking for: 

  • Issues and concerns that should be addressed in the EIS.
  • The way in which land and resources might be affected by the project.
  • Ideas on alternatives and ways to minimize impacts.
There will be another public input period. Once the draft EIS is complete (the Corps has set January 2019 as the initial timeframe), there will be a minimum of 45 days to review and comment. 

Need more info?
Visit our Scoping page.

Up, Down and Around

The last six months have been a roller coaster ride, as news about Pebble permitting and partnerships followed twists and turns, throwing just about everyone for a loop. We've got your ticket to a list of the main events, but keep your hands inside the ride at all times!

In May, First Quantum Minerals, Ltd (FQM), which had planned to contribute $150 million for Pebble permitting over four years, withdrew from the project during negotiations over a formal agreement. Its first installment of $37.5 million was paid to Northern Dynasty Minerals (NDM) in December 2017.

This description from FQM's 2017 Annual Report paints FQM as somewhat of a maverick, entering into projects that other companies might find too risky: "As a growing, copper-focused company, we continually seek prospects to add to our project portfolio to replace depleted reserves and keep growing total production over time. Our main criterion is early-stage projects to which we can apply our significant project development skills. We have the capability to take on any sized asset, whether open pit or underground. Recognizing that new economic copper resources are difficult to find and complex to develop, First Quantum has grown by thinking unconventionally and taking calculated risks. From the beginning, we have sought good-quality assets in jurisdictions where we believed we could operate effectively, but where other companies were hesitant to enter."

Neither FQM nor NDM provided a reason why they could not reach a formal agreement. With the permitting process begun, NDM will need to find new partner to keep it moving forward. It is not known what agreement the Pebble Limited Partnership (PLP) has with AECOM, the 3rd-party contractor that is developing the EIS under the direction of the Corps of Engineers. However, FQM's proposed contribution of $150 million gives some idea of the expense, as it was slated entirely for permitting.
Pebble Watch is a program of the Bristol Bay Native Corporation Land Department.
Learn more at www.pebblewatch.com

Copyright © 2017, Bristol Bay Native Corporation, All rights reserved.

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