The Bristol Bay region of southwest Alaska is home to the Kvichak and Nushagak rivers, the two most prolific sockeye salmon runs left in the world. Two mining companies, Northern Dynasty Minerals and Anglo American, have proposed an open-pit and under-ground mine at the headwaters of the two rivers. The area has the second largest deposit of copper, gold and molybdenum ever discovered, with an estimated value over $300 billion. Despite promises of a clean project by mining officials, the accident-plagued history of hard rock mining has wrought one of the biggest land use controversies Alaska has ever faced. Red Gold gives a face to the issue, and a voice to the people who depend on this extraordinary fishery. This documentary gives all sides a chance to be seen and heard. For the first time, Bristol Bay’s subsistence, commercial and sport-fishing communities have joined together for a common cause.
Imagine a pristine Alaskan watershed with the most productive Sockeye salmon rivers in the world, teeming with millions of native fish pushing up river to spawn. Now imagine the world’s largest open pit gold and copper mine at their headwaters. This film by co-directors Travis Rummel and Ben Knight has done much to bring Alaska’s Pebble Mining controversy to the forefront of public consciousness. The film follows the subsistence and commercial salmon fishermen of Bristol Bay, Alaska, as they work tirelessly to make their living off the land and water, and combat the proposed open pit gold and copper Pebble Mine. It explores the growing battle between those who depend on this extraordinary fishery for a living, the mining companies who are pushing for Pebble, and the political framework that will ultimately decide the outcome.
Running time: 54 minutes