Mine company managers came bearing gifts 15 years ago for residents of this Native village at the far end of Alaska’s biggest lake, off the state’s road system.Alighting from a plane on Pedro Bay’s gravel airstrip, the representatives of Canada’s Northern Dynasty Minerals brought platters of catered food to the community of 40 people, who traditionally subsist on salmon and moose. In a meeting, the mining men described a project the villagers could hardly imagine.They wanted to put a giant open-pit copper and gold mine north of Iliamna Lake in the headwaters of Bristol Bay, home of the world’s biggest wild sockeye salmon run. For transport and power at the remote site 200 miles southwest of Anchorage, Pebble Mine would require more than 100 miles of roads coupled with a natural-gas pipeline crossing Cook Inlet.The most direct route to bring supplies and fuel in, and ore out, appeared to pass right through Pedro Bay land in a development only possible if the village’s Native corporation granted access. Advertisement The company representatives spoke of jobs and potential windfalls for the village, such as scholarships and a recreation center. Later they took residents of Pedro Bay and other lakefront communities on well… Read full this story
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