Alaska lawmakers and a Native corporation have joined the dispute over a Canadian company’s potential investment in a large copper and gold mining project.

The Anchorage Daily News reported Monday that Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy wrote a July letter supporting investment in the Pebble Mine by Wheaton Precious Metals.

Dunleavy’s letter came after groups opposed to Pebble wrote to Wheaton President Randy Smallwood discouraging its involvement.

A group of 20 state lawmakers sent a letter Monday telling Smallwood that Dunleavy had downplayed public opposition to the project.

Bristol Bay Native Corporation sent a similar letter to Smallwood Aug. 29.

Pebble opponents say the project threatens the Bristol Bay salmon fishery in Southwest Alaska.

Potential developer Pebble Limited Partnership maintains it can develop the mine safely without threatening the fishery.

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