The Pebble Partnership, a 50:50 partnership between a subsidiary of Anglo American and an affiliate of Northern Dynasty Minerals, moved into its summer work season in mid-May 2012, with a $107-million budget for the year. The partnership is developing the Pebble copper, gold and molybdenum mineral deposit in southwest Alaska. Under the terms of the partnership agreement, Anglo American is required to commit $1.5 billion in staged investments to retain its 50% interest in the project. The project has aroused vocal opposition based on its perceived threat to the Bristol Bay salmon fishery.

“Following the completion and release of the 27,000-page Pebble Environmental Baseline Document earlier this year, the Pebble Partnership is now focused on finalizing the other principal document required to trigger permitting under NEPA—a Project Description,” Northern Dynasty President and CEO Ronald Thiessen said. “After years of methodical and intensive geological, environmental, socioeconomic, and engineering study, we are now finalizing a proposed design for the Pebble project that will meet and exceed environmental regulations and permitting requirements in Alaska and the United States, while providing significant benefits to the region, the state and the nation.”

Prior to initiating project permitting, the partnership plans to undertake a broad-based public engagement program to consult Alaskans and other project stakeholders about project planning. This public consultation initiative is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2012.

“As part of the process of developing a proposed Project Description, the Pebble Partnership will be meeting and consulting with the people and communities of southwest Alaska and throughout the state to allow Alaskans and all interested stakeholders to gain a better understanding of how this project will be built and operated to provide significant benefits to the state and country, while protecting fish, water, and other important natural resources,” Thiessen said.