“In secretly recorded meetings, executives with the Pebble Mine project said the operation could run nine times longer than outlined in their permit filings.”
“Executives overseeing the development of a long-disputed copper and gold mine in Alaska were recorded saying they expected the project to become much bigger, and operate for much longer, than outlined in the proposal that is awaiting final approval by the Army Corps of Engineers.
The executives, who were recorded in remote meetings by members of an environmental advocacy group posing as potential investors, said the project, Pebble Mine, could potentially operate for 160 years or more beyond the current proposal of 20 years. And it could quickly double its output after the initial two decades, they said.
“Once you have something like this in production why would you want to stop?” Ronald W. Thiessen, chief executive of Northern Dynasty Minerals, the parent company of Pebble Limited Partnership, said in one of the recordings. Mr. Thiessen said local villages in the area would support extended operation of the mine because of the tax money they would receive. “It’s $10,000 per man, woman and child,” he said. “They want that to go away? No.””