Boettcher Local Project


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Boettcher Local Project

  1. 1. Northern Dynasty Mine’s Pebble Mine Project Gold, copper and molybdenum in the Bristol Bay Region Rebecca Boettcher ALST600 Spring 2008
  2. 2. Location of the proposed mining operation <ul><li>Pebble Mine </li></ul>
  3. 3. Timeline <ul><li>Geochemical hot spot since 1960s </li></ul><ul><li>Color variations seen from the air prompted Cominco Alaska Exploration to start investigations in 1986 </li></ul><ul><li>1988 - Discovery of Pebble West deposit </li></ul><ul><li>Drilling continued through 1992 </li></ul><ul><li>Nothing done for nearly a decade - In 2002, Northern Dynasty Minerals began extensive explorations that are in progress today </li></ul><ul><li>2005 - Pebble East deposit discovered. Also Northern Dynasty acquires 100% of the mining claims. </li></ul><ul><li>Northern Dynasty has not even started the permitting process yet. </li></ul>
  4. 4. PEBBLE PLANS <ul><li>Pebble West would be the largest open pit mine in North America at 2 miles wide and a couple thousand feet deep </li></ul><ul><li>Pebble East is covered in Tertiary rock and would be an underground cave mine </li></ul><ul><li>HUGE dams - 740 feet tall and 4.3 miles long - larger than Grand Coulee Dam in Washington. Two tailings ponds needed, engulfing two valleys </li></ul>
  5. 5. PEBBLE PLANS <ul><li>Ninety mile long road to carry product to a port on Cook Inlet, running along the shore of Lake Iliamna </li></ul><ul><li>Expected need of over 250 megawatts of power, more electricity than the entire Kenai peninsula uses now </li></ul>
  6. 6. Why the controversy? <ul><li>Fish are more sensitive than people to the heavy metals left in the water </li></ul><ul><li>Many of the surrounding villages rely on the annual salmon harvest for subsistence and economic stability </li></ul><ul><li>Sport fisherman from around the world come to Bristol Bay for the trophy trout and salmon </li></ul>
  7. 7. BUT… <ul><li>The mining exploration process is already bringing jobs and LOTS of money to the region. </li></ul><ul><li>Northern Dynasty offers scholarships and gives donations to schools and communities </li></ul><ul><li>Would provide an infrastructure to connect some of the villages by road </li></ul><ul><li>BOTTOM LINE - lots of money - for the residents of the villages and for the mine </li></ul>
  8. 8. Bristol Bay - a fish and wildlife haven <ul><li>Five species of Pacific Salmon, Rainbow and Lake Trout, Grayling, Char, Pike, Dolly Varden, Whitefish </li></ul><ul><li>The headwaters of the Nushagak and Kvichak Rivers are right where the proposed mine is located. </li></ul><ul><li>These rivers contain some of the worlds largest salmon runs. </li></ul><ul><li>Birds, bears and caribou make their home on the tundra </li></ul><ul><li>Lake Iliamna is home to one of only two freshwater seal populations in the world </li></ul>
  9. 9. Impacts of mining <ul><li>Main concern is tailings contaminating the water </li></ul><ul><li>Acid mine drainage, metals leaching, release or spills of processing chemicals, dewatering </li></ul><ul><li>Dam failure - the mine site lies close to the Lake Clark and the Castle Mountain faults </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of wildlife habitat, roads/people alter landscape </li></ul>
  10. 10. Startling statistics <ul><li>According to the EPA, mining is the most polluting industry in the country </li></ul><ul><li>76% of mines surveyed exceeded water quality standards </li></ul><ul><li>100% of mines similar to Pebble polluted the water </li></ul><ul><li>40% of the headwaters of western watersheds have been contaminated by mine waste </li></ul>
  11. 11. “ They say this mine will last fifty years. We’ve been here for thousands of years.” Nondalton resident Rick Delkittie
  12. 12. The state of Alaska has never yet denied a mining permit
  13. 13. Credits <ul><li>Map image from </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>