The news: “The unethical manner in which these tapes were acquired does not excuse the comments that were made, or the crass way they were expressed,” Thiessen said in a statement. “On behalf of the Company and our employees, I offer my unreserved apology to all those who were hurt or offended, and all Alaskans.”
Thiessen also said the company has long held that in the future it may seek to expand the mine, action that would require additional federal and state permitting.
Collier, a Clinton-era chief of staff at the Interior Department, could have collected multi-million dollar bonuses if the mine received its permits from the Army Corps of Engineers and survived legal challenges. The Corps has not yet issued a decision.
Pebble has brought in former CEO John Shively, who left in 2014, as the company’s interim chief. He served as commissioner of Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources in the late 1990s.
Meanwhile: In a separate statement issued on Tuesday evening, the Army Corps said some of the executives’ statements on the tapes about the permitting process as well as their close relationship with agency officials were “inaccuracies and falsehoods.”
“We have the highest level of trust and confidence in the integrity of our regulatory team,” said Col. Damon Delarosa, the Corps’ Alaska District commander. “As we continue to work through this process, we will continue to uphold and follow applicable laws and regulations.”