By ANTONIA GONZALES (NATIONAL NATIVE NEWS)
Announcement of a major change in the access route to the proposed Pebble Mine in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska is met with resistance from Tribal groups and other opponents.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Friday the “least environmentally damaging” access to the mine site is a road along the northern end of Iliamna Lake.
Previous plans called for a route that included crossing the lake via ferry.
The new preferred route means the mine backers will need to secure land rights from groups that oppose the project.
In a written statement, the Igiugig Village Council said the new route should not be considered an acceptable alternative.
The statement said the Army Corps continues to disregard the Village’s concerns and has failed in their trust responsibility to adequately consult with the tribe.
Bristol Bay Native Corporation said the route change “has not been vetted and scrutinized by both the public and cooperating agencies.”
The Army Corps is expected to release its final Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed copper, gold and molybdenum mine as early as next month.
Art Hughes of Koahnic Broadcast Corporation contributed to this report.