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ANCHORAGE - The Pebble Partnership, a group formed last summer to increase support for developing a huge copper and gold deposit near salmon-rich Bristol Bay, announced Wednesday that John Shively will head the partnership.
Shively, 64, is a former commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources. He also was former Gov. Bill Sheffield's chief of staff, and most recently was vice president of government and community relations for Holland America Line.
Shively also served 17 years with NANA Regional Corp. He and other NANA leaders negotiated development of the Red Dog mine in northwest Alaska in partnership with Teck Cominco.
The Pebble Mine about 200 miles southwest of Anchorage is one of the largest copper and gold deposits in the world. It is situated in an area of the most productive sockeye salmon fishery in the world.
Recent estimates of copper and gold reserves at Pebble put the value of the minerals at $345 billion to $500 billion.
Shively said he views his role as increasing communication between those opposed to the mine and proponents.
Shively said he believes the mine is a "tremendous opportunity" for residents in the Bristol Bay area as well as all Alaskans, as long as it can be developed in such a way that fish and clean water are protected.
Cynthia Carroll, CEO of London-based Anglo American PLC, which along with Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. of Vancouver, British Columbia, is partnering to develop the mine, said having Shively as CEO should reassure people concerned that developing the mine could hurt Bristol Bay fisheries.
"John shares our view that Pebble must go beyond compliance to ensure that the project can coexist with clean water and healthy fisheries," Carroll said in a statement.