When I read what others say online, I find what I think are misconceptions, and I rarely see other messages that reflect how I see the Pebble Project. Since my working life included geological and mining engineering, I want to have a say at what I think.
Often times others view this from what I think are two ends of an extreme. Some will say no mine will ever be built there, and no mine should ever be built, etc., and then give reasons that do not make sense to me, or can only make sense to a person who does not know about potential solutions that are available. At the other extreme, people will say that since the election has changed the way, that at least some politicians in office want to operate the EPA, what can/will happen now is the concerns presented can be dismissed, overruled, just sign it and get on with it. Both of these are not correct, because the world does not work that way. The world works on people working together, finding solutions to problems, co-operating as much as possible, and often times finding a win win solution wherever possible.
A person can ask, what am I talking about, have you not been reading the articles, if there are answers to all the questions people have, they would have been worked on and presented by now. I’d say no because, the entire process was shut down before the co-operation and working together portion could have even begun. If a company becomes convinced that anything they do or say will be used against them, and that there will be no co-operation, then why should they try to keep going? How can they find investors willing to buy shares in that situation? How can they fund the work required to develop their methods and proposals, when there is no indication the investment required will yield any results? I think that Northern Dynasty had no other choice but to wait, they did not have to wait for a Republican government, they only had to wait for any government, that would allow the project to advance, under a fair application of the regulations.
One comment made on the Frontline documentary, was that there is no previous example of an equivalent high sulphide (up to 10-15% in some areas) open pit mine it a wet environment. I don’t agree with that, there were some in BC close to that, some areas of the Island Copper Mine, maybe but I would want to reality check that statement. Another point to consider is that in the northern Saskatchewan uranium mines, they are located on permeable sands, with high water tables, and creeks with fish on all sides, and it certainly rains there. They have managed well without contamination problems, and a relatively low level of concern as expressed by citizens.
My personal view is that the veto will be withdrawn, if not now within a month or two. The only questions, then being how will it proceed after that. I think there will be adequate solutions to essentially all of the concerns presented. However, some of these will have serious associated costs. Investors could well be a little disappointed when they find the cost implications of some of the possibilities being brought forward in the future. On the positive side, there is no reason to doubt the excellent economics, despite attempts by critics to do so. I think that once this is all over, people will look back and see what seems to be now, difficult black and white issues in a completely different way. A series of workable, and reasonable solutions, that make sense once the process and the company is allowed the opportunity to prove itself.