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Battle Over Mine Moves to the Boardroom

A

trans-Atlantic campaign mounted by NRDC

of mining waste at the headwaters of some of the

and our Alaskan allies put new pressure on

greatest wild salmon runs in the world, imperiling

Anglo American and Rio Tinto, the global

not only an unspoiled wilderness but the communities

giants behind the proposed Pebble Mine, when they

that depend on it for survival.

convened in London in April

The annual meetings showed

for their annual shareholder

two companies increasingly on

meetings. Capping weeks of

the defensive, with cracks in

public mobilization against

their unified front beginning

the toxic mega-mine, we

to show. While Anglo

delivered 400,000 more

American’s board chairman

petitions of protest to

attempted to dismiss the

company officials and took

intensifying opposition, Rio

out eye-catching ads in both

Tinto’s chief executive, Tom

The New York Times and the

Albanese, made news by

Financial Times of London.

announcing publicly for the

The full-page ads demanded

first time that he does not

that the two mining

support the current plan for

companies “Take No for an

an open-pit mine because of

Answer,” spotlighting their broken promises and refusal

Our ad reached more than one million people on both sides of the Atlantic.

concerns about its environ­ mental risks. “An open-pit

to respect the will of the Native peoples, fishermen

mine is not the way to go . . . in my opinion,” said

and other residents of Bristol Bay, Alaska, who are

Albanese. Mitsubishi Corporation, a former backer of

overwhelmingly opposed to construction of the

the proposed mine, withdrew from the project last year.

massive gold and copper mine.

Said NRDC’s Reynolds, “We need to keep the

A delegation of leaders from Bristol Bay traveled to

pressure on until the remaining companies deliver on

London for the shareholder meetings, where they and

their promise to respect local communities, who’ve

NRDC senior attorney Joel Reynolds urged Anglo

said — loud and clear, time and again — that they

American and Rio Tinto to abandon a project that

don’t want this mine.” To date, our Stop the Pebble

threatens environmental and financial disaster. At two

Mine campaign has generated more than one million

miles wide and 2,000 feet deep, the proposed Pebble

petitions, making it one of the biggest environmental

Mine would generate an estimated 10 billion tons

protests in history.

3


Nature's Voice June July 2012