To some of us the Pebble Mine is not a very well known problem. A very informative article appears here:
For FAOL members who don't know what's what the author explains:
The Pebble prospect is approximately 200 miles southwest of Anchorage and 120 miles from Bristol Bay, and it is closest to the communities of Iliamna, Newhalen, and Nondalton. The prospect is expected to contain approximately 80.6 billion pounds of copper, 5.6 billion pounds of molybdenum, and 107.4 million ounces of gold, plus significant amounts of silver, rhenium, and palladium. The estimated value of the prospect ranges from $100 billion to $500 billion; however, a recent preliminary assessment estimated a net smelter return of $120.2 billion. The same assessment estimates an initial mine life of only twenty-five years, which could be prolonged through expansions, mainly additional underground development. In comparison, the Bristol Bay salmon fisheries have an estimated value of $120 million annually, a sustainable, long-term source of income.
Although official plans for the mine have not yet been submitted for permitting, development of the Pebble prospect may encompass two mines: Pebble West and Pebble East. Pebble West will likely comprise an open pit mine about 2000 feet deep and two square miles in area. Pebble East will likely be an underground mine of comparable size, but about 5000 feet deep. This development will require massive infrastructure. Specifically, the development may include waste rock dams as large as 740 feet high and three miles long storing reactive tailings; mills; a deep-water port; a 104-mile road; two 100-mile pipelines; and a 378-megawatt natural-gas-fired turbine plant. Even in the current exploration stage, the proposed Pebble Mine has become “one of the most extensive and expensive mineral exploration projects” that Alaska has ever seen.