Pebble Partnership shuffles leadership

Top leadership at Pebble Limited Partnership (PLP) is changing, with John Shively moving to a Board of Directors role and attorney Tom Collier taking over the company’s CEO position. Shively was recruited as the company’s CEO shortly after it formed as a partnership between Northern Dynasty Minerals and Anglo American. According to a PLP press release, Collier—a former Chief of Staff under Department of the Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt—has worked with many Alaska-based clients and has provided strategic guidance to PLP regarding the federal permitting process; he also brings expertise regarding 404 wetlands permitting.

This change in leadership closely follows the release of the final EPA Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment, which will inform EPA’s decision regarding whether it will decide to pursue its authority under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act to limit or prohibit development in the Bristol Bay region. Shively was tapped for the CEO position in 2008 partly because of his experience in Alaska, and partly because he was seen as a someone who could manage public criticism regarding the project.

At a 2013 Resource Development Council luncheon NDM CEO Ron Thiessen told a crowd about how Shively was recruited to PLP. (NDM is now the sole owner of the Pebble deposit; Anglo American withdrew from the project and PLP last fall.) Thiessen said that, years ago, when fishing the Kenai Classic, other fishermen asked him why he didn’t stand up to negative reports in the media about the Pebble project. Regarding Shively, Thiessen said, “This is exactly the guy I need, who’s going to stand up and take all that crap. Fortunately for us, John did join us and helped build a great team at the Pebble Partnership. I am very proud of those people and their accomplishments.”

PLP news release

Thiessen addressing RDC crowd (video)

News stories:

Shakeup Atop the Pebble Limited Partnership (KDLG Radio, Dillingham – February 3, 2014)  Northern Dynasty appoints regulatory heavyweight to lead Pebble permitting