Fisheries Conservation photo

Remember the controversial Pebble mine proposal for the headwaters of Alaska’s famous Bristol Bay? Flytalk’s Tim Romano blogged about it here. Now it seems many jewelery manufacturers are saying they won’t buy gold from the mine.

From the story in the Anchorage Daily News:

The nation’s second-largest jewelry retailer on Tuesday joined the opposition to development of a gold and copper prospect in Southwest Alaska. Zale Corp. said it will boycott precious metals from the Pebble prospect if it becomes a mine. Zale also said it supports permanently protecting the Bristol Bay watershed from large-scale metals mining. _Pebble is situated near the headwaters of two of Bristol Bay’s salmon-spawning rivers. Five Bristol Bay rivers collectively support the world’s largest wild-sockeye salmon fishery. The Texas-based jewelry giant has 1,930 stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Conservation group Earthworks and partners have now enlisted more than 30 jewelers to oppose Pebble development.

_The mining company’s response? Big Deal. No, literally. That’s what they said… _

Canada’s Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. and London-based Anglo American have formed the Pebble Partnership to work the Pebble prospect. John Shively, chief executive of the partnership, said Zale coming out against Pebble is nothing more than a meaningless publicity stunt. “It is pretty easy for a company to come out against buying gold that doesn’t exist at this point,” he said. “We are years away from construction. The people managing that company now will probably be gone. Big deal.”_

So a Canadian and British consortium are going to devastate one of America’s most pristine public resources for the private profit of a non-American company. Eh, big deal, right?

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