Jewelers Back Alaska Community Against Mining Plan, London's Times Reports

Local campaigners against a plan by Anglo American Plc to mine copper and gold on the coast of Bristol Bay, Alaska, are supported by some of the world’s leading jewelers, including Tiffany & Co., Mappin & Webb Holdings Ltd., Watches of Switzerland Ltd. and Fraser Hart Ltd., the London-based Times reported.

The jewelers say they won’t sell gold from the proposed opencast mine, according to the newspaper.

Such mines are known for the environmental damage they cause as a result of toxic leaks and spills, and the Bristol Bay community is concerned that its salmon industry, worth $400 million a year, might be harmed, the Times said.

Fisherman Everett Thompson is one of four Bristol Bay residents in London this week for talks with jewelers and Anglo American officials; he told the newspaper that salmon fishing has “provided for us for 9,000 years” and “we are trying to keep our waters pristine so our salmon will support us for generations to come.”

An Anglo American spokesman said the mining plan is still at an exploratory stage and there’s not yet a plan on which an “informed judgment” can be made, the Times reported.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alan Purkiss in London on apurkiss@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Colin Keatinge in London at ckeatinge@bloomberg.net.

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