JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – A Canadian company that was courted as a potential partner in a proposed copper-and-gold mine near one of the world’s largest salmon fisheries has backed away from the project.

Mine developer Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. says it was unable to finalize an agreement with First Quantum Minerals Ltd., the potential investor.

It was not immediately clear what the development means for the project. Neither company offered immediate comment on Friday.

The project has a permit application pending with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Mine opponent Joel Reynolds of the Natural Resources Defense Council says First Quantum Minerals did the right thing.

Reynolds says the project has been widely condemned.

The proposed Pebble mine is near Alaska’s Bristol Bay, which is where about half the world’s sockeye salmon is produced.

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