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FRONTLINE: Alaska Gold

Airs Tuesday, July 24, 2012 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV

Credit: Courtesy of Felt Soul Media - Ben Knight

Above: At her family’s fish camp along the Kvichak River in Igiugig, Alaska, Lydia Olympic hangs her subsistence sockeye salmon to dry before smoking.

The Bristol Bay region of southwest Alaska is home to the last great wild sockeye salmon fishery in the world. It’s also home to enormous mineral deposits — copper, gold, molybdenum — estimated to be worth more than $300 billion. Now, two foreign mining companies are proposing to extract this mineral wealth by digging one of North America’s largest open-pit mines, the “Pebble Mine,” at the headwaters of Bristol Bay.

In "Alaska Gold," FRONTLINE travels to Alaska to probe the fault lines of a 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.

Past episodes of FRONTLINE are available for online viewing. FRONTLINE is on Facebook, and follow @frontlinepbs on Twitter.

Preview: Frontline: Alaska Gold

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FRONTLINE probes the fault lines of a growing battle in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska, home to the world’s last great wild sockeye salmon fishery – and enormous mineral deposits.

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