Mine developer to appeal US decision to reject Alaska permit

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A mine developer says it will appeal a Trump administration decision denying a permit to build a copper and gold mine in southwest Alaska.

Northern Dynasty Minerals President and CEO Ron Thiessen said in a statement Thursday that the government's rejection was “without precedent in the long history of responsible resource development in Alaska,” the Anchorage Daily News reported.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied the company a permit in November, saying its plans to develop the mine were against the public's interest and did not adhere to the Clean Water Act.

The proposed mine would have been built on state-owned land in the Bristol Bay region, near the world's largest wild sockeye salmon fishery.

Critics of the project have called the permit rejection a victory for tourism, fishing and Alaska Native villages that need the salmon for food.

Thiessen said in a statement that his company had developed “mitigation requirements that were both extreme and unprecedented in Alaska” during its application for permits.

President Donald Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., and elected Alaska officials, including Republican Sens. Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski, have spoken out against the development. Murkowski has even pushed to make the land permanently ineligible for development. President-elect Joe Biden said during the campaign that he would try to block the mine’s construction.

John Budnik, the Army Corps of Engineers Alaska District spokesman, said Thursday that the agency had not yet received the appeal from Northern Dynasty or its subsidiary, Pebble Limited Partnership.

The Associated Press