The US Army Corps of Engineers has rejected a crucial permit needed for owners of the massive Pebble Mine project planned for Alaska's Bristol Bay to move forward.

The Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday denied a permit for the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska, likely dealing a death blow to the long-disputed project, the New York Times reported.

In a statement, the Army Corps said it “determined that the applicant’s plan for the discharge of fill material does not comply with Clean Water Act guidelines and concluded that the proposed project is contrary to the public interest."

The forward-movement of the project has been the subject of much debate during Outgoing President Donald Trump's tenure.

Last year The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) removed Obama-era proposed restrictions on mining operations in Alaska’s Bristol Bay that concluded the Pebble Mine, a largescale copper and gold mining project, could have devastating effects on the world’s largest wild salmon run in Bristol Bay.

At the end of July, Trump’s administration appeared to be on track to approve the project despite protests of environmentalists and Alaskan Native groups opposed to the 8,400-acre open pit mine.

But in August, following backlash from fisherman and Alaska lawmakers, Trump's administration signaled opposition to the mine.

Incoming US President Joe Biden has signaled he will reject the project in Alaska's Bristol Bay, leaving the project owners with little options but to appeal the decision.