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The Pile River flows into Alaska's Lake Iliamna. The lake and its tributaries are the headwaters of the Bristol Bay region. Photo: Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Trump administration will place new hurdles in front of plans to build a large gold and copper mine in a sensitive Alaskan ecosystem, and may block the project outright, according to reports Saturday.

Driving the news: The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal report the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will say Monday that the Pebble Mine would cause "significant degradation."

  • The agency will require major new environmental mitigation measures before the project in Alaska's Bristol Bay watershed can receive needed approvals.
  • Politico reports that the Trump administration plans to outright block the project, marking a "surprise reversal" of earlier support.

The intrigue: The reportedly imminent steps follow opposition to the project from key supporters of President Trump, including his son Donald Trump, Jr.

  • Other opponents include Fox News' Tucker Carlson and Nick Ayers, who is former chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence.

Why it matters: The project, which the Obama administration did not allow to proceed, is proposed in a region that's home to the world's largest sockeye salmon fishery. Environmentalists, outdoor enthusiasts and fishing industry groups oppose the mine.

  • Even imposing new requirements could further endanger the project, because Democratic White House nominee Joe Biden opposes the Pebble Mine too.

Yes, but: Pebble Limited Partnership CEO Tom Collier is expressing confidence that the project can advance with new environmental protection steps.

  • "They’re going to expect a substantial amount of mitigation. But we’ve known that for a months. … That’s something we expect can be dealt with in due course," he told the Post.
  • And per the WSJ: "Mr. Collier said his team is working on a new mitigation proposal he expects to be finished within a few weeks and lead to a resolution with the Corps before Election Day."

Of note: "The White House is not in a position to comment on this at this time," spokesman Judd Deere told Axios. The Army Corps did not provide immediate comment.

Go deeper: Army Corps rules Alaskan mine will not harm salmon fishery

Go deeper

Oct 27, 2020 - Economy & Business

Scoop: The Lincoln Project is becoming a media business

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Lincoln Project is looking to beef up its media business after the election, sources tell Axios.

Driving the news: The group is in talks with the United Talent Agency (UTA) to help build out Lincoln Media and is weighing offers from different television studios, podcast networks and book publishers.

Scoop: Trump-backed Perdue says he wouldn’t have certified Georgia 2020 results

Perdue at a December 2020 campaign event in Columbus, Ga. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue wouldn’t have signed the certification of the state’s 2020 election results if he had been governor at the time, the former Senate Republican told Axios.

  • “Not with the information that was available at the time and not with the information that has come out now. They had plenty of time to investigate this. And I wouldn’t have signed it until those things had been investigated and that’s all we were asking for," he said.

Why it matters: There has been no evidence widespread fraud took place in Georgia's elections last year and the November results were counted three times, once by hand.

Beijing Olympics: These countries have announced diplomatic boycotts

Photo: Zhang Qiang/VCG via Getty Images

Several countries, including Canada and Australia, have announced they will join the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to protest human rights abuses committed by China's government.

Driving the news: Leaders have faced pressure from human rights groups and others to boycott the Games, pointing to the ongoing genocide of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang region and other abuses.