The Pebble Limited Partnership (PLP) issued the following statement regarding Monday’s court decision in favor of the State of Alaska in the Nunamata Aulukestai vs. State of Alaska, a case in which PLP intervened and was a participant throughout the litigation:
We are pleased that the Court recognized that exploration activities at the Pebble deposit have not caused harm to the resources or other users. We agree with the court’s conclusion and intend to continue conducting a careful, responsible study program as we proceed to design a project that will create enormous opportunity for Alaskans, especially for the residents of Southwest Alaska.
The court heard hours of testimony over several weeks and concluded that the plaintiffs failed to prove their case. The court found that the State of Alaska and Pebble proved that mineral exploration activities were not causing environmental harm or user conflicts.
The court said that the evidence showed that more than 20 years after minerals were first discovered at Pebble the site continues to have pristine water and support wildlife and fisheries resources.
We believe we prevailed because we demonstrated we had a careful and responsible exploration program that is not causing harm. We are pleased that the court found that the testimony of Pebble employees and our expert consultants was credible and reliable. We have a team of people who work tirelessly to make this responsible project a success.
We also want to acknowledge the work conducted by the State of Alaska in administering the State’s exploration program and in defending this program as sound. Hopefully the decision will bring some stability to those wishing to conduct mineral exploration on state lands.
We look forward to concluding our 2011 work program and to outlining our work scope for 2012. As many know, our work based out of Iliamna is an important local source of employment in an area with very few good paying jobs.