The Pebble Partnership announced today a new contract with a subsidiary of Arctic Slope Regional Corporation. ASRC Energy Services (AES) bills itself as a “one-stop shop” for consulting and contracting services for a number of industries, including natural resources.
Pebble spokesman Mike Heatwole said that the purpose of contracting with AES is to identify and streamline potential and existing relationships with Alaska Native village corporations.
“We were looking for someone who could assist us in ensuring that we could maximize the contracting opportunities for our business partners around the lake area,” Heatwole said. “We’ve had long-term business relationships with a range of Alaska Native village corporations around the lake area and wanted to get some additional assistance to make sure that opportunity is fully realized for the long haul.”
Pebble Partnership is working to establish contracts with village corporations around Iliamna Lake as the company gears up for a limited summer work season. Pebble anticipates hiring locally this summer for bear guards, helicopter services and data gathering for a planned transportation corridor.
In a press release Tuesday, the Bristol Bay Native Corporation knocked Pebble for working with an Alaska Native corporation that represents an area “nearly 1000 miles” away from Bristol Bay. BBNC and other village corporations in the region are opposed to the development of large-scale copper and gold mines like Pebble being developed in the Bristol Bay watershed.
Editor’s note: this story was updated to include reaction from the local native corporation: Bristol Bay Native Corporation.