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Rio Tinto Abandoning Pebble Mine

RIO TintoRio Tinto will divest its 19 percent stake in the Pebble Mine project in Alaska and donates its shares to two state charities.

The proposed gold, copper and molybdenum mine is under review by the federal government for its impacts on the nearby Bristol Bay watershed and its sockeye salmon breeding grounds. The EPA in February invoked the Clean Water Act which effectively halted the project.

Rio Tinto said it would donate its investment in Northern Dynasty Minerals to the Alaska Community Foundation and the Bristol Bay Native Corporation Education Foundation.

“I understand that many mining companies are reevaluating their project portfolios right now, but I’m concerned by what else may have prompted this decision,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said in a statement. “If we want to attract investment to our state and our economy, we need a regulatory system at the federal level that is predictable enough to allow responsible development to go forward – at least to the permitting stage, and without the threat of a preemptive veto from the EPA hanging over it.”

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