Pebble Mine threatens resources

Letter to the editor

Posted: Tuesday, May 24, 2005

I am greatly dismayed that the Juneau Empire (May 18) has chosen to publish last week's Peninsula Clarion editorial column regarding Northern Dynasty's Pebble Mine proposal. I often agree with the paper's editorial column but last week's column shows me that the Clarion has taken Northern Dynasty's bait and played into its hands, just as the company hoped. Now your paper has followed suit.

It is not too early to voice concern or say no to this mine proposal. The sheer colossal size of this proposal and its location in such a sensitive and rich location are two reasons enough to illicit alarm.

We are talking about the largest open pit mine in North America that will sit in headwaters of three separate river drainages and the largest salmon run in the world.

Northern Dynasty is soliciting major partners and international investors for what it is selling as a viable project. If there is enough information for these investors to rely on for their decisions, surely there is enough information for Alaskans to form an opinion about this proposal.

Northern Dynasty is counting on Alaskans to subsidize the infrastructure for this colossal project and this is factored into its current analysis toward the mine's "viability." Northern Dynasty's concept and long-term bottom line cannot pass Jay Hammond's recommended four standards of evaluation/requirements. The current analysis may look good on paper for investors, but the better it looks for outside investors, the greater the price will be for Alaskans.

We are talking about the permanent loss of a world-class sustainable resource that is irreplaceable. Even with the very best of intentions and efforts of Northern Dynasty's proposal, the consequences of the unintended, at any stage of this project, are too catastrophic to meet the standards/requirements that Gov. Jay Hammond so wisely recommends.

Wake up, Alaskans, and read the details. It is not too early to form an opinion with the information already at hand and voice that opinion.

Rika Mouw


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