A delegation of Alaska Native leaders from Bristol Bay flew to London in April to confront Anglo American executives and shareholders face-to-face with their concerns about the company’s massive Pebble mine project in southwest Alaska. The Alaska delegates told leaders of the London-based company, one of the world’s largest mining conglomerates, that they have failed so far to grasp the depth and breadth of opposition to Pebble.
The Pebble deposit straddles the headwaters of the world’s most productive wild salmon fishery and, if developed, would be the largest open-pit copper and gold mine in North America. The Bristol Bay representatives met Cynthia Carroll, Anglo’s chief executive, and Sir Mark Moody Stuart, its chairman, to urge them to drop the project which threatens a $230 million commercial salmon fishery as well as a robust sport-fishing industry and a healthy subsistence harvest that sustains thousands of Alaska residents, many of them tribal members.
Trout Unlimited’s Alaska Program helped to organize and sponsor the trip. In concert with the visit, staff also arranged the London premier of the award-winning documentary, Red Gold, which tells the story of Bristol Bay, its people, the salmon, and the Pebble mine project. The film was screened at the Hub, Kings Cross, in London. Trout Unlimited sponsored a reception for the screening which featured wine and Bristol Bay Sockeye salmon. Caroline Bennett, a London chef and sustainable seafood advocate, prepared some of the salmon and participated in a panel discussion about the Pebble project that the risks it imposes on Bristol Bay and the wild salmon food chain.