ALASKA – Following a strategic review, Rio Tinto has decided that its participation in the Pebble copper-gold project 380 km from Anchorage no longer fits its business plan. Rio Tinto holds a 19.1% of Vancouver-based Northern Dynasty Minerals, the owner and operator of the project.
Rio is giving its Northern Dynasty shares to two Alaskan charitable foundations, the Alaska Community Foundation and the Bristol Bay Native Corporation Education Foundation.
Rio Tinto Copper chief executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques said, "By giving our shares to two respected Alaskan charities, we are ensuring that Alaskans will have a say in Pebble's future development and that any economic benefit supports Alaska's ability to attract investment that creates jobs."
Northern Dynasty president and CEO Ron Thiessen supports Rio's decision, saying in a release, "We are pleased that Rio Tinto's interest in Northern Dynasty will provide meaningful, long-term economic contributions to charitable organizations in Alaska that are dedicated to providing educational opportunities for young people, and to preserving culture and traditional ways of life."
Details of the Pebble project are posted at NorthernDynastyMinerals.com.