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Rio Tinto Withdraws from Bristol Bay Pebble Mine Proposal

8 April 2014, at 1:00am

US - Earthworks has applauded Rio Tinto's withdrawal from the Pebble Mine proposal in Alaska's Bristol Bay.

"Earthworks applauds Rio Tinto’s decision to withdraw from the Pebble Mine proposal that threatens Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed, home to the world’s largest wild sockeye salmon fishery," said Earthworks' Bonnie Gestring.

"We also applaud their recognition that “Alaskans should have a say in Pebble’s future development”.

"Alaskans have had their say and they overwhelmingly opposed the mine, with 98 per cent. This is largely because the US Environmental Protection Agency’s peer reviewed scientific assessment of large scale mining’s impacts on the watershed showed that the Pebble Mine would destroy 94 miles of salmon streams, and threaten the $480 million/year salmon fishery and the 14,000+ jobs that depend upon it.

"With Rio Tinto’s departure following close upon Anglo American’s withdrawal last year, there is currently no major funder backing the Pebble mine proposal. Perhaps more importantly, there is now no mining company behind Pebble that has actually mined anything.

"Rio Tinto’s divestment from Pebble may not be the final nail in the coffin, but it’s surely one of the last," Ms Gastring concluded.

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