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Thread: Anglo American pulls out of Pebble Partnership

  1. #1
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default Anglo American pulls out of Pebble Partnership

    http://www.alaskadispatch.com/articl...e-mine-project

    Was posted on the other Pebble thread but thought it deserved a thread of its own.

    One can read a lot more into this than what the Anglo American CEO said. They are taking a 300-million hit in pulling out. That ain't chump change. For a long time now we have been told to wait for the actual mine plan. It keeps getting delayed. I think the latest promise was by the end of this year.

    This latest development makes we wonder if we'll ever really see a plan.

  2. #2

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    There's already talk from the partnership about going to underground mining rather than pit. Lot less problems with that, and I can see it as a way to have and eat cake at the same time. I have no prob with mining that doesn't screw up everyone else's lives.

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    When the Pacific Ocean is fully polluted with radio-active waste and there is no more eatable fish, I wonder if they will beg for work at the mine.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-0...g-surroundings

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Thats a good size tax write off
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    When the Pacific Ocean is fully polluted with radio-active waste and there is no more eatable fish, I wonder if they will beg for work at the mine.
    If we kill our oceans, we kill ourselves. Dead people don't need work.
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    If we kill our oceans, we kill ourselves. Dead people don't need work.
    There you go succinctly making too much sense .......

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    There's already talk from the partnership about going to underground mining rather than pit. Lot less problems with that, and I can see it as a way to have and eat cake at the same time. I have no prob with mining that doesn't screw up everyone else's lives.
    I'm not a mining engineer but...the type of deposit determines the type of mine. Kennicott was a classic hard-rock copper mine because the ore existed in large seams and veins within the rock so they bored holes in the mountains. Pebble, on the other hand, is an alluvial copper/gold deposit. Alluvial deposits are pit mined because typically, it takes anywhere from 5 to 25 yards of material to yield an ounce of gold and drilling holes underground in gravel is dangerous. Alluvial ores can only be recovered by first piling the gravel into huge mounds (heap) and then washing those mounds (leaching) with solutions containing sulfuric acid (for copper) and cyanide compounds (for gold).

    Regardless of how the digging is conducted, the only econominal way to extract the salable minerals from the gravel is heap-leaching. Accordingly, millions and millions of gallons of these toxic solutions would be needed to process a deposit the size of Pebble. The used/unreusable "barren" solution would have to be stored somewhere. In the case of Pebble, that somewhere is 12 miles upstream of Lake Illiamna.

    Given the massive logistical costs, the only way Pebble would ever be feasible is if the State of Alaska makes huge tax and regulatory concessions, like pre-absolving corporate officers from legal liability in the event of a "mishap".

    I, for one, believe that the groundswell of negative response from Alaskans played a role in this decision. If nothing else than to raise the spectre of elecoral backlash for the politicians willing to kill Lake Iliamna. I am happy to see Anglo-American withdraw (and take their record as one of the world's worst water table poison distributors with them).
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    Supporting Member sigabrt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik in AK View Post
    I'm not a mining engineer but...the type of deposit determines the type of mine. Kennicott was a classic hard-rock copper mine because the ore existed in large seams and veins within the rock so they bored holes in the mountains. Pebble, on the other hand, is an alluvial copper/gold deposit. Alluvial deposits are pit mined because typically, it takes anywhere from 5 to 25 yards of material to yield an ounce of gold and drilling holes underground in gravel is dangerous. Alluvial ores can only be recovered by first piling the gravel into huge mounds (heap) and then washing those mounds (leaching) with solutions containing sulfuric acid (for copper) and cyanide compounds (for gold).

    Regardless of how the digging is conducted, the only econominal way to extract the salable minerals from the gravel is heap-leaching. Accordingly, millions and millions of gallons of these toxic solutions would be needed to process a deposit the size of Pebble. The used/unreusable "barren" solution would have to be stored somewhere. In the case of Pebble, that somewhere is 12 miles upstream of Lake Illiamna.

    Given the massive logistical costs, the only way Pebble would ever be feasible is if the State of Alaska makes huge tax and regulatory concessions, like pre-absolving corporate officers from legal liability in the event of a "mishap".

    I, for one, believe that the groundswell of negative response from Alaskans played a role in this decision. If nothing else than to raise the spectre of elecoral backlash for the politicians willing to kill Lake Iliamna. I am happy to see Anglo-American withdraw (and take their record as one of the world's worst water table poison distributors with them).
    Since you brought it up:

    Pebble is not an alluvial deposit. It is a low-grade porphyry copper-gold-molybdenum deposit contained in a granitic rock. No gravel involved---it's hard rock.

    There are underground mining methods that can be used to extract such ore in the huge quantities needed to make a profit, however it is much more expensive than open pit mining. As for alluvial ores, there are gravity methods that can be used to extract gold...
    "Your papers are not in order"

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Thank you for the correction. It still would've still been a heap-leaching mine and that is the basis of my being against it.

    Now, if Anglo-American wanted to barge the raw ore back to Canada and do the heap-leaching there (I'd suggest Ottawa) then I'd paint my roof GO PEBBLE!!
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik in AK View Post
    Now, if Anglo-American wanted to barge the raw ore back to Canada and do the heap-leaching there (I'd suggest Ottawa) then I'd paint my roof GO PEBBLE!!
    Good info Erik and sig. I had to laugh at that above though. So true. Yes, if diggings from Alaska ground are so darned valuable, lets just sell the raw material (and in exchange for clean fill if they want a lot) and let them process it wherever. Not cost effective? Oh well, maybe it will be someday. ;-)

    Just the thought of this would make the politicians shout NIMBY!

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Common sense seems to prevail on occasion, glad to hear. Here's a good little tidbit:
    For Release: Monday, September 16, 2013
    The Renewable Resources Coalition has stated from its inception that the proposed Pebble Mine was too great a risk for the surrounding watershed, the fishery and Alaska. This morning Anglo American recognized the magnitude of this risk and stepped down from the project, supporting the fact that mining and fishing cannot coexist in Bristol Bay. Anders Gustafson, Executive Director of the Renewable Resources Coalition stated clearly, “If one of the world’s largest mining companies sees this project as a bad business investment, Alaskans and other mining companies should follow their lead and abandon the proposed Pebble Mine project as well. The State needs to protect the world’s greatest wild salmon fishery and the vibrant fishing industry of Bristol Bay.” According to a 2013 report from the UAA Institute of Social and Economic Research, the Bristol Bay fishery is valued at 1.5 billion dollars and supplies over half the world’s sockeye salmon. Bristol Bay is good business that supports Alaskans and the local economy.The Renewable Resources Coalition urges Alaskans to support continued legislation which would provide permanent protections in the Bristol Bay Fisheries Reserve. Support the work of the Renewable Resources Coalition to ensure continued protection of the Bristol Bay Fishery and Alaska’s fishing and hunting resources.Renewable Resources Coalition (RRC) an Alaskan non-profit was established in 2005 with a mission to protect Alaska’s fishing and hunting resources. RRC represents commercial, subsistence and sport fishermen from the region and is the largest local voice in the Pebble Mine debate. www.RenewableResourcesCoalition.orgContact: Anders Gustafson, Executive Director, Renewable Resource Coalition907-306-1665

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