Anglo American withdraws from Pebble Mine project

One of the partners in a massive proposed gold and copper mine in southwest Alaska is pulling out.

London-based Anglo American PLC announced that a subsidiary is withdrawing from the Pebble Mine project. Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani says in a statement the company’s focus has been on prioritizing money for projects with the highest value and lowest risks within its portfolio. Its focus also has been on reducing the amount of money needed in the pre-approval phase.

“Despite our belief that Pebble is a deposit of rare magnitude and quality, we have taken the decision to withdraw following a thorough assessment of Anglo American’s extensive pipeline of long-dated project options,” said Cutifani in the statement.

Anglo American will pay $300 million write-off for the withdrawal.

Anglo American’s decision leaves Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd., based in Canada, as the sole owner.

“Northern Dynasty will again own 100% of one of the world’s most important copper & gold resources and will have the benefit of $541 million worth of expenditures,” says Northern Dynasty CEO Ron Thiessen in a statement from the company.

Mike Heatwole is spokesman for the Pebble Limited Partnership, which was created to design, permit and run the mine.

He says the project remains important for Alaska, and officials will share additional information about the way forward for the project in the coming days and weeks.

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