(Bloomberg) — The Pebble mine in Alaska was dealt a potentially lethal blow after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rejected an essential permit for the project.
The proposed mine in southwestern Alaska, which would tap one of the world’s largest undeveloped copper and gold deposits, has been dogged by protests for years, as conservationists warn industrial mining operations near Bristol Bay threaten a flourishing sockeye salmon fishery.
The Army Corps issued a record of decision Wednesday denying Pebble’s permit, after determining the project “is contrary to the public interest,” said Col. Damon Delarosa, the agency’s Alaska district commander.
In August, the Army Corps concluded the mining plan from Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. “would likely result in significant degradation of the environment,” and the agency demanded a mitigation plan to offset the project’s effects on nearby wetlands.
Northern Dynasty’s subsidiary Pebble Limited Partnership submitted the mitigation plan earlier this month, though the details weren’t released to the public.
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