Pebble Mine Company CEO, Opponents Debate

Anchorage hosted a Pebble Mine panel discussion earlier this week, which included Pebble Partnership CEO Tom Collier debated the mine’s viability with opponents of proposed Bristol Bay project that conservationists continue to fight against the idea of mining in around Bristol’s fertile salmon spawning waterways.

Bristol Bay’s KDLG radio was on hand and filed a recap:, which included an appearance by longtime anti-Pebble advocate Rick Halford. Here’s KDLG with more:

Representing opposition to the mine, Halford raised several concerns. Among them, he believes the tailings pit lake that would form in the excavated area of the deposit after mining operations are complete would pose a grave risk to Bristol Bay’s water quality.

“It’s got arsenic, cadmium,” said Halford. “All the things that were left on the pit walls are now poisoning the water. So it’s a lake of poison that backfeeds all the drainages that it drew out of, and those are undefined. The environmental baseline data talks about the geology of the area and how porous it is, how there’s exchange between groundwater and surface water.”

Collier did go onto say that environmental safety was a priority for Pebble Partnership, though opponents of the mine probably won’t buy that argument.