Change In Mining Corporation Leadership Prompts Question About Pebble

London-based mining giant Anglo American, facing mounting
criticism of its management of existing mines, has announced that Cynthia
Carroll, its chief executive officer for nearly seven years, is stepping down.
The change in top management of the major proponent of
development of the Pebble mine in southwest Alaska has prompted questions about
the status of that project, but the Pebble Limited Partnership has so far
declined comment.
“It’s an Anglo American decision,” John Shively, chief
executive officer of the Pebble Limited Partnership in Anchorage, said Oct. 29.
“She will stay on until a successor is named. It’s not a Pebble decision,” he
said, declining to comment on how her departure might affect development of the
mine at the headwaters of the Bristol Bay watershed.
Anglo American is a 50:50 partner in the Pebble Limited
Partnership with the Vancouver, British Columbia mining firm Northern Dynasty.
Anglo American is engaged in global ventures,
including iron ore, manganese, metallurgical coal and thermal coal, copper,
nickel and precious metals and minerals. Mining operations, extensive
pipeline of growth projects and exploration activities span southern Africa,
South America, Australia, North America, Asia and Europe, company officials
Critics of the mine in southwest Alaska said Anglo American
should reassess at this point and drop the Pebble mine from its project list.
The change in leadership comes at a time when the company
faces decreased stock value and mounting criticism of its management of existing
mines, heightening concerns among Alaskans over the company’s involvement at
Pebble, said Kim Williams, executive director of Dillingham-based Nunamta
Aulukestai, (Caretakers of the Land), an association of Bristol Bay Native
village corporations and tribes. “There’s no future for Anglo American or any
other mining company at Pebble because the impacts to the fishery are too
great,” Williams said. “Our future is the fishery, and the abundance of
sustainable jobs it supplies.”
Carroll has promised repeatedly during her visits to Alaska
that Anglo American wouldn’t develop the Pebble mine if it didn’t have
community support, said Bobby Andrew, a subsistence fisherman and another
spokesperson for Nunamta. “We’re left to wonder just who is accountable to the
guarantees that Anglo made to Bristol Bay residents.”