Pebble Mine

Photo: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The proposed Pebble Mine project has long been a source of controversy in Alaska. It's faced scrutiny nationally, too, as as each presidential administration has taken its own look at the plan to build an open-pit copper and gold mine at the headwaters of Bristol Bay. 

Yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency dealt the latest blow to the project.

So, what makes this new twist different from the others?

Sabine Poux/KDLL

“Well, first of all, let’s address the elephant in the room.”

That’s how Mark Hamilton started his talk about Pebble Mine at Wednesday’s joint Soldotna and Kenai Chamber Luncheon.

Hamilton is the vice president of external affairs for the Pebble Limited Partnership, the company spearheading the controversial Pebble Mine Project.

That project, now in an advanced exploration stage, would build an open-pit mine in the Bristol Bay region of southwest Alaska, where there are rich mineral deposits. 

Jenny Neyman/KDLL

Supporters and opponents of Pebble Mine are awaiting the release of the Army Corps of Engineer’s final environmental impact statement, due out later this year.

The draft statement came out last February, followed by a 90-day public comment period. Since then, the Corps has been reviewing and integrating those comments into its decision on whether or not the mine should be allowed to proceed.

Mark Hamilton, vice president of external affairs for the Pebble Limited Partnership, is optimistic the decision will fall in Pebble’s favor but not optimistic that the decision will put an end to protests over the mine.

“Well, I can tell you that Pebble is very, very confident that we will get a positive record of decision, and I can predict to you without any doubt that it will not stop any of the screams and the yells,” Hamilton said.

Econ 919: A spark of hope for Pebble Mine backers

Aug 8, 2019

Last week the Pebble Limited Partnership’s plan to mine for gold and copper across Cook Inlet was given a boost when the Environmental Protection Agency dropped its proposal for a preemptive veto of the project, a policy begun under the Obama Administration.

Pebble takes turn defending mine plan

May 22, 2019
Pebble Limited Partnership


Last week, opponents of the proposed Pebble Mine spoke to a joint meeting of the Kenai and Soldotna chambers of commerce. They highlighted concerns about the project’s potential impacts farther away from the actual mine and closer to the planned shipping operations in southwest Cook Inlet, where instead of salmon, opponents are worried about bears and a growing bear viewing industry. This week brought Pebble’s rebuttal.

Growing bear viewing industry joins chorus against Pebble

May 16, 2019
Alaska Department of Fish and Game


Most of the arguments against the proposed Pebble mine in Bristol Bay center on the region’s world class salmon fisheries. But other wildlife concerns are getting some attention, too, as the project’s draft environmental impact statement continues to receive scrutiny.



A Central Kenai Peninsula League of Women Voters forum Thursday night in Soldotna gave supporters and opponents of Ballot Measure 1 a chance to explain their perspectives and dispel misconceptions about the measure that would expand permitting and protections for anadromous fish habitat in Alaska.

Kaitlin Vadla and Laura Rhyner, with Cook InletKeeper, spoke for the Stand for Salmon side supporting the voter imitative, while Owen Phillips and Linda Hutchings, of Soldotna, represented the Stand for Alaska movement that opposes the measure.

The panel spoke to a full house in assembly chambers at the borough building in Soldotna and covered a lot of ground. Among the questions was what myth each panelist wants to dispel about the measure.