Opponents of proposed Alaska copper, gold mine win ruling allowing trial to contest permits

By Mary Pemberton, AP
Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Opponents of proposed Alaska mine score in court

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Opponents of a huge copper and gold mine being developed in Alaska near some of the world’s most productive wild salmon streams have scored a court victory.

An Anchorage Superior Court judge issued a decision Monday clearing the way for a trial to challenge state permits for the Pebble Mine being developed by Canada’s Northern Dynasty Minerals and London-based Anglo American.

The lawsuit alleges that the Alaska Department of Natural Resources issued the permits over many years without looking at the harm that could be done to public resources, and it claims that’s a violation of the Alaska Constitution.

Judge Eric A. Aarseth found enough evidence to allow the constitutional issues to be heard at trial. It is scheduled for Dec. 6.

(This version CORRECTS last paragraph to show issue is not decided and will be heard at trial. Moving on general news and financial services.)

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