The Pebble Project is a copper-gold-molybdenum porphyry deposit in the advanced exploration stage. The project is located on state land in the Bristol Bay Region of southwest Alaska, approximately 17 miles northwest of the community of Iliamna. In 2007 the Pebble Partnership (PLP) was formed as a 50:50 partnership between a subsidiary of Anglo American and Northern Dynasty Minerals. Rio Tinto owns 19.8% of Northern Dynasty shares and Mitsubishi Corp. owns 11%.
Pebble consists of two contiguous deposits. Pebble West is a near surface resource of approximately 4.1 billion metric tons that, if developed, would likely be mined by conventional open-pit mining techniques. Pebble East is significantly deeper than Pebble West and contains generally higher grade ore. Its size is currently estimated at 3.4 billion metric tons. If developed, Pebble East would probably be mined via bulk tonnage underground mining methods. PLP is currently conducting an exploration drilling program to further explore the Pebble deposits and upgrade its resource classification.
The submittal of development applications will require development of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The NEPA process will be a multi-year federal effort that mandates multiple opportunities for formal public comment and agency review. The Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Office of Project Management and Permitting, is responsible for coordinating the state permitting process.
Although there are no formal public meetings planned by state or federal agencies prior to submittal of the permit applications, state agency staff continue to meet with communities, local government officials, and non-governmental organizations to discuss the project.
In conjunction with the ongoing exploration activities, PLP is collecting baseline environmental data for the project area. State and federal agencies are providing guidance to PLP for this data collection effort.
Links to Related Information
- Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment Update
- 2012 Pebble Project Environmental Baseline Studies (ARLIS link)
- Annual Reclamation Reports
- PLP Data Releases
- Technical Working Group (TWG) Meeting Minutes
- Draft Environmental Study Plans
- Inspections and Field Reports
- Water Right Applications
- Water Withdrawal Plan (PDF)
- 2010 Unpermitted Water Withdrawals Settlement