By Associated Press - Thursday, August 20, 2020

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A key federal permitting decision on a proposed copper and gold mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region could still be weeks away as work continues on a wetlands mitigation plan, a spokesperson for the company behind the Pebble Mine said Thursday.

Mike Heatwole, with the Pebble Limited Partnership, said the company is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to finalize a wetlands mitigation plan. “Given there is still some work to conclude,” he said by email, a final decision isn’t likely to come for “another month or so.”

The corps has said it will have one of three options with the so-called record of decision: issue a permit, issue a permit with conditions or deny it.

The corps has said a decision would be written no sooner than 30 days from the July 24 public release of its final environmental review of the project. A message seeking comment on the expected timeline for completing the process was sent to a corps spokesperson Thursday.

Pebble CEO Tom Collier has seen the corps’ analysis as a positive for the project, while Pebble critics have assailed it as deficient.

President Donald Trump’s eldest son has been among those critical of the project.

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