Cynthia Carroll, CEO of Anglo American plc, outlined a series of social, environmental and economic commitments that the new Pebble Partnership will make to the people and communities of Alaska in a breakfast address in October before the Resource Development Council in Anchorage. Carroll was joined by Northern Dynasty Minerals Limited Chairman Robert A. Dickinson and President and CEO Ron Thiessen.
Anglo American has become a 50 percent partner with Northern Dynasty in the Pebble Partnership, committing to invest $1.425 billion in the Alaska project.
“As an American who has worked in Alaska, I know first hand the beauty and value of all Alaska’s natural resources,” Carroll said. “We treasure those resources and will use the best science and technology to ensure that they are protected. We believe the Pebble Project can be developed into an environmentally-responsible mine for the benefit of all Alaskans.
“We do not want to and will not be associated with the development of a mine that damages Alaska’s fisheries and wildlife, or the livelihoods of Alaskan communities,” Carroll added. “If the mine cannot be planned in a way that provides proper protections, it should not be built.”
Carroll told several hundred attending the breakfast meeting that the Pebble Partnership will go “beyond compliance” with Alaska law to create an environmentally-responsible mine that responds to local needs and concerns.
She also announced four key program commitments that the Pebble Partnership will advance in the months and years ahead, and encouraged all Alaskans to participate in the process by which the project and its benefits will be defined. The four program components are an intensive stakeholder engagement process, independent expert scrutiny, a Sustainable Fisheries Fund and a pledge to recruit Alaskans to work for and manage the company.
Carroll said the Pebble Partnership will “go beyond compliance to establish an independent panel of scientific experts, knowledgeable in Alaska and beyond, to scrutinize our work and in particular the crucial issue of water and water quality.” She praised Alaska’s environmental regulations and permitting requirements as detailed and rigorous, and said “Pebble must apply the world’s best and most advanced science” to ensure that the environment is protected.
With regard to the proposed Sustainable Fisheries Fund, Carroll outlined a program to enhance Bristol Bay’s vital fisheries. “We will establish the Bristol Bay Sustainable Fisheries Fund in partnership with Native people, local communities and other stakeholders to support community-led initiatives that enhance the social and economic impact of the fishery.” The fund will be formally launched in January 2008, be funded by the Pebble Partnership, but operated independently from the company, and promote healthy and sustainable subsistence, sport and commercial fisheries.
“Anglo American brings world class expertise in environmentally responsible mining and building sustainable communities to the Pebble Project,” said Dickinson. “We’re thrilled to be announcing these very meaningful programs today and to be working in partnership to advance the Pebble Project in a way that delivers the greatest possible benefits to our neighbors in Bristol Bay and throughout Alaska.”