Pebble project permitting denied
|Pebble project, Alaska. Image credit: Northern Dynasty.|
(Kitco News) - Northern Dynasty Minerals (TSX: NDM; NYSE American: NAK) announces that today, its 100%-owned, US-based subsidiary Pebble Limited Partnership received formal notification from the US Army Corps of Engineers (“USACE”) that its application for permits under the Clean Water Act and other federal statutes has been denied.
The lead federal regulator found Pebble’s ‘compensatory mitigation plan’ as submitted earlier this month to be ‘non-compliant’, and that the project is ‘not in the public interest’.
Northern Dynasty called the decision politically motivated and said it is fundamentally unsupported by the administrative record as developed by the USACE through the Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”) process for the Pebble project. The company intends to launch an administrative appeal of the USACE permitting decision.
President & CEO Ron Thiessen said that “The Final EIS found Pebble to be a project of merit that would fully co-exist with clean water, healthy fish and wildlife populations, and the important fisheries resources of southwest Alaska. The Final EIS also found that Pebble would make an important, positive socioeconomic contribution to the people and villages of Bristol Bay, Alaska – where full-time jobs are scarce and people face one of the highest costs of living in the country – as well as to the State of Alaska and the United States. Based on the positive findings of the Final EIS, conclusions by the USACE that development of the Pebble project is ‘not in the public interest’ are wholly unsupported.”
Northern Dynasty confirmed that the Pebble Partnership will appeal the USACE permitting decision within the 60-day window provided for it to do so.
“For the United States to turn its back on an opportunity to develop these minerals here at home in a manner that US regulators have agreed is environmentally safe and responsible, and to do so for purely political reasons, is not just short-sighted,” added Ron Thiessen. “It’s self-destructive.”
The Pebble project is located in southwest Alaska. Northern Dynasty is 100% owner of the Pebble Partnership, which is advancing the world-class Pebble deposit in Alaska towards permitting and development.
The Pebble deposit is one of the greatest stores of mineral wealth ever discovered, and the world’s largest undeveloped copper and gold resource. The Pebble project’s tonnes, grade, metallurgy and geometry have the potential to support a modern, long-life mine.
The current resource estimate includes 6.5 billion tonnes in the measured and indicated categories containing 57 billion lb copper, 71 million oz gold, 3.4 billion lb molybdenum and 345 million oz silver; and 4.5 billion tonnes in the inferred category, containing 25 billion lb copper, 36 million oz gold, 2.2 billion lb molybdenum and 170 million oz silver. Palladium and rhenium also occur in the deposit.