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8/4/2008--Iliamna, AK, USA..A aerial view of the area where the proposed Pebble Mine will be built with a exploratory drill sitting near streams and creeks; the area is currently being drilled to map deposits of ore for possible extraction. The mine contains large deposits of copper, gold, and molybdenum and is in the Bristol Bay region of Southwest Alaska, near Lake Iliamna. The proposal to build a large mine is controversial and opponents say it threatens nearby wild salmon runs from Bristol Bay into the nearby watersheds. .The mine is being explored by Pebble Ltd Partnership, a joint venture of  Northern Dynasty Partnership and Anglo American US LLC. The mine  would probably include an open pit and large dams to contain waste. Bristol Bay is home to some of the largest runs of salmon in the world and the world's largest sockeye salmon fishery. It's also a popular sport fishing area, and subsistence fishing is important to the region's native communities...©2008 Stuart Isett. All rights reserved.