“Earthworks applauds Rio Tinto’s decision to withdraw from the Pebble Mine proposal that threatens Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed, home to the world’s largest wild sockeye salmon fishery.
We also applaud their recognition that “Alaskans should have a say in Pebble’s future development”.
And Alaskans have had their say: they overwhelmingly oppose the mine. 98% of comments from Bristol Bay residents oppose the Pebble Mine proposal. That’s largely because, as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s peer reviewed scientific assessment of large scale mining’s impacts on the watershed showed, the Pebble Mine would destroy 94 miles of salmon streams, and threaten the $480 million/year salmon fishery and the 14,000+ jobs that depend upon it.
With Rio Tinto’s departure following close upon Anglo American’s withdrawal last year, there is currently no major funder backing the Pebble mine proposal. Perhaps more importantly, there is now no mining company behind Pebble that has actually mined anything.
Rio Tinto’s divestment from Pebble may not be the final nail in the coffin, but it’s surely one of the last”.