P E BB L E PRO J E C T NE W S L ETTER
Table of Contents INSIDE UAA Partnership Myth Busting! Alaska Represents in London Future Scientists
Mining Business In early May, the Pebble Partnership took a group of stakeholders on tours of Bingham Canyon Mine, in Utah, and Cortez Hills, in Nevada. Participants learned about historical issues that the mines have faced and how mines operating under modern regulations are protecting themselves and the environment with practices monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and multiple other regulators. The tour closed with a visit to the refinery. One stakeholder said, “I’m proud to have witnessed the entire process of copper found, dug up, milled and electroplated in America.”
The group also visited the small town of Copperton, a community on the Bingham Canyon mine property.
Edna Foss from Iliamna views the open pit at Fort Knox Gold Mine in Fairbanks.
H2ome Sweet H2ome In South Africa, the eMalahleni Water Reclamation Plant produces far more than just a valuable supply of drinking water. Described as a “world-class initiative” and developed in 2007 by Anglo American as a public-private joint venture with BHP Billiton and the local municipality, the facility treats water produced by operations at Thermal Coal’s Landau, Greenside and Kleinkopje coal mines. In a region that has long struggled with a low domestic water supply, the plant is working with the provincial government to meet its goal of ensuring that every household has a safe, dependable source of water.
The eMalahleni plant generates one other much-needed product: jobs. More than 65 percent of the workforce used to build the treatment facility came from the local community. In total, 700 construction and 40 operations jobs were created. The plant is currently being expanded in an effort to meet operational needs over the coming decade. Scheduled to be completed in 2013, the expansion will create even more jobs in an area of high unemployment.
“About 99.7 percent of the water is treated to drinking standards,” says Peter Gunther, Thermal Coal’s Regional Manager, Hydrology, “with 80 percent going to the local Witbank reservoir. The remainder goes back to the mines, making them self-sufficient in water.” In addition, by-products from the plant are used to construct much-needed affordable housing. Gypsum resulting from the treatment process is used to make building materials at a time when bricks are in short supply. So far, 66 houses have been built using the plant’s by-products.
Reverse osmosis membranes remove impurities from the water at the eMalahleni water reclamation plant in Mpumalanga province of South Africa.
Pebble Partnership/UAA Team to Enhance Geology Career Paths “Making educational opportunities available to Alaska’s future leaders is key to developing a skilled workforce, whether that is at the Pebble prospect or at other important natural resource projects throughout the state. The program has the potential to open many doors of opportunity on the employment front for years to come.”
Geologists study in the field near the Pebble deposit.
The Pebble Partnership, along with other industry partners, is fostering a new program in conjunction with the University of Alaska (UAA) to further develop its geology school’s educational offerings. The two-year agreement includes a $100,000 gift from the Pebble Partnership to the UAA Foundation specified to fund an economic geologist faculty position. The position will require the recipient to have experience in the mining industry and is part of a three-year, $500,000 cumulative pilot program. Integrated into the highly successful Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program (ANSEP), the new program will expose high school students to the field of geology as part of ANSEP’s pre-collegiate mentoring program. Once enrolled at the collegiate level, students will have the opportunity to further their undergraduate education and understanding of geology from an global economic standpoint. “The Pebble Partnership’s support in developing programs within UAA’s school of geology that will benefit Alaska Native students aligns with the company’s goal of maximizing local hire opportunities at the prospect,” said Josie Hickel, Vice President, Human Resources. ANSEP is successfully helping to mentor rural Alaska high school students in math and science studies to better prepare applicants for success at the collegiate level. Traditionally, indigenous students have struggled to successfully compete at the college level in math and science. Providing opportunities that expose Alaska Native students to the mining industry, especially the economic aspects of geology across the world, offers students highly relevant experience as they seek to compete in the business world. Internships and on-the-job training will be included in the program as students progress through the latter undergraduate years and for those pursuing a master’s degree.
UAA’s geology department has grown significantly throughout the past four years, with more than 100 students enrolled and graduating an average of 12 students each year. In addition to the newly created gift program, the Pebble Partnership is also a five-year partner in the original ANSEP program, donating $75,000 annually. ANSEP has more than 700 students participating in the curriculum statewide. The pre-collegiate aspect of ANSEP includes an innovative program that teaches students to build their own computers as an introduction to science. As part of the Pebble Partnership donation, the program has been successfully implemented in Bristol Bay for three years. Ultimately, these classes result in identifying students from the region for future involvement in the ANSEP degree program.
Every copper mine in the world has destroyed the waters around it.
The Kennecott Mine and Copper River are examples of mining and nature successfully co-existing right here in Alaska. The Copper River was named after the abundant copper deposits along the upper portion of the river. The resource was developed a century ago in what was, at the time, the worldâ€™s largest copper mine â€“ Kennecott. Today, the Copper River is known for its prolific runs of sockeye salmon, which are among the most highly prized stocks in the world.
Nuna Resources, Inc. in London Nuna Resources representatives met with Anglo American Chairman Sir John Parker and CEO Cynthia Carroll in London this past spring. Nuna Resources is a nonprofit corporation with a pending federal 501 (c)(3) application. Its members are village corporations, tribes and stakeholders who support a sustainable economy and due process. To that end, Nuna Resources has committed to working with the corporations and tribes in southwest Alaska to stop the EPA from issuing a 404 (c) Clean Water Act preemption on the Pebble Project before the Pebble Partnership has had an opportunity to conclude and present its feasibility study. The representatives conveyed to the Anglo American management team that Nuna Resources was organized to support responsible resource development in Bristol Bay. They also conveyed that they support due process as a constitutional right of applicants to pursue permitting, such as the Pebble prospect, without political intervention. The Nuna Resources representatives emphasized that not all tribes and village corporations were in opposition to the Pebble Partnershipâ€™s (PLP) effort to complete its feasibility study. They stated that they were willing to wait until PLP completed its study so that they could review a specific development plan as part of the NEPA and permitting process. They also expressed concern that the economy of the villages they represented was virtually non-existent and that a new economic engine was needed to provide jobs and prevent population decline. While in London, the Nuna Resources group also attended the Anglo American General Meeting, where they expressed concerns about the opposition circumventing due process
London, prior to the Anglo American general meeting, pictured left to right: Sue Anelon, Trefon Angasan, Abe Williams, Lisa Reimers and Martina Arce.
and for the welfare of local communities if employment opportunities do not become available. Representatives from Nunamta Aulukestai, an Alaska Native group opposed to the mine, were also present at the General Meeting. Nuna Resources representatives included Abe Williams, President of Paug-Vik (the village corporation for Naknek); Sue Anelon, President of Iliamna Natives Limited (the village corporation for Iliamna) and President of Iliamna Tribal Council; Lisa Reimers, General Manager of Iliamna Natives Limited; Martina Arce, Tribal member of Iliamna Tribal Council; and Trefon Angasan, Chairman of the Alaska Peninsula Corporation (the village corporation for Kokhanok, Newhalen, South Naknek, Port Heiden and Ugashik). www.pebblepartnership.com
3201 C Street, Suite 604 Anchorage, AK USA 99503 (907) 339-2600 Toll-free: 1 (877) 450-2600 www.pebblepartnership.com
Future Scientists In the spring of 2011, the Pebble Partnership hosted a group of children from Newhalen Elementary School on a tour of the Pebble facilities in Iliamna. During their visit to the Weathered Inn, the kids were given a brief overview of the project and learned how the Partnership uses maps as part of the exploration process. While at the site offices, the students were given a brief introduction to marine studies by ABR Environment Research & Services, who discussed the work that they are doing at the proposed port site. Students also spent time in the core tent, where geologists explained their role in the project. The field trip concluded with a visit to the Lake Lodge where the kids were treated to milk and cookies while they learned about opportunities that may one day be available to them in this region. A group of Newhalen Elementary School children learned how maps are important to the exploration process during a recent tour of the Pebble facilities.