VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / June 1, 2021 / Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. (TSX: NDM) (NYSE American: NAK) (“Northern Dynasty” or “Company”) reports that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“USACE”) has completed the “administrative record” (” AR ”) which will serve as the basis for its official review of the Negative Decision Record (“ ROD ”) released for Alaska’s Pebble Project last fall.
USACE completed the RA and provided a copy to the 100% U.S.-based subsidiary Pebble Limited Partnership (“Pebble Partnership”). The Pebble Partnership and its legal advisor are currently reviewing the voluminous records to see if they are complete and relevant to the USACE grant decision and their sufficiency to support a fair, transparent and efficient review.
“While we have been and are very concerned about the timing and timing of the USACE to move forward in our administrative appeal of the Pebble permit decision, we are pleased to pass this important milestone and look forward to completing our review of the RA.” said Northern Ron Thiessen, president and CEO of the dynasty.
‘Pebble is a high-profile project with significant public and stakeholder interest, and of great importance to the economy of Alaska and the United States. Accordingly, we fully expect the administrative record and the review process it supports to be robust, objective, and fact-based, and to achieve the principles of regulatory fairness that USACE has sworn to uphold.
Recently, the Pebble Partnership also learned that USACE has appointed a new review officer (‘RO’) who will head the appeal of the Pebble Project. Once on site, the company expects the new RO to establish a detailed timeline for the administrative appeals process, including scheduling a possible site visit and an appeals conference.
“There are guidelines in federal regulation that govern these appeals that suggest they should be completed within 90 days,” Thiessen said, noting that the Pebble Project’s appeal has already exceeded 90. days. “But we have advised our investors and project stakeholders, in line with previous comments made by USACE, that the 90 days are probably not a realistic timeline for our call given the importance of the Pebble Project and our expectation that the USACE review will be thorough and complete.
“That said, we believe this project has been the subject of inappropriate political interference in the past, so we will be extremely careful to prevent these forces from affecting the appeals process in any way, even late.”
There are several dimensions to the attractiveness of the Pebble Partnership that American and global business interests will be closely monitoring.
The main one is the fact that the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) of the Pebble Project found that the proposed mine: would coexist with wild fish and wildlife populations in southwest Alaska; they have no impact on commercial, subsistence and sport fishing in Bristol Bay; and, make a significant socioeconomic contribution to the State of Alaska. Despite publishing these findings in its final July 2020 EIS, USACE issued an ROD in November 2020 based on contradictory conclusions and diametrically opposed conclusions.
“The fundamental basis of our attractiveness is the belief that the ROD does not match the EIS,” Thiessen said. “If the final EIS is not the most comprehensive, relevant, science-based assessment of the Pebble Project and the basis on which all permit decisions must be made, we want USACE to tell us what it is.”
The events of recent months have called into question yet another, already questionable, dimension of the USACE authorization decision: the agency’s conclusion that Pebble is not in the public interest. With recent Biden Administration statements on renewable energy, electric vehicles and other policies designed to achieve carbon neutrality in the United States by 2050, and governments around the world pursuing similar policies, experts predict a shortage of refined copper unprecedented in the coming decades.
“We considered USACE’s findings in its Journal of Public Interest to be indefensible when they were published last fall,” Thiessen said. “What has been widely recognized since then and is well known in the mining and metals sector in recent years is that the United States must develop its own copper resources if it is to achieve its ambitious goals for which relates to climate change.
“How can it be that the public interest is not in the public interest to develop the world’s largest undeveloped copper resource, a project on American soil and designed according to U.S. health, safety, and environmental standards?”
Another aspect of Pebble’s licensing decision that it has control over is that of compensatory mitigation. While USACE’s mitigation demands on Pebble are unprecedented, the Pebble Partnership invested more than $ 2.5 million and 1,000 person-days last year to prepare a Compensatory Mitigation Plan (“CMP”) for meet the requirements of the principal federal regulator. The Pebble Project CMP would protect nearly eight times more wetlands than would affect the proposed mine, but was summarily rejected by USACE based on largely minor deficiencies, without giving the proponent a chance to respond.
“After a huge investment of professional time and resources, and ongoing discussions with the regulator about their expectations and demands, we presented a CMP that demonstrates that it meets USACE requirements,” Thiessen said. “It was rejected just five days after what we believe is a superficial review, and we believe it deserves further investigation by the RO.”
Thiessen said Northern Dynasty will continue to fight on behalf of its shareholders to ensure the Pebble Project finally receives a fair and impartial permit decision.
About Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd.
Northern Dynasty is a mineral exploration and development company based in Vancouver, Canada. Northern Dynasty’s main asset, owned by its Alaska-owned U.S. subsidiary, Pebble Limited Partnership, has a 100% stake in an adjoining block of 2,402 mineral claims in southwest Alaska, including the Pebble, located 200 miles from Anchorage and 125 miles. of Bristol Bay. The Pebble Partnership is the advocate of the Pebble Project, an initiative to develop one of the most important mineral resources in the world.
For more information about Northern Dynasty and the Pebble Project, visit the company’s website at www.northerndynastyminerals.com or contact investor services at (604) 684-6365 or North America at 1 -800-667-2114. Review Canadian public files at www.sedar.com and U.S. public files at www.sec.gov.
Ronald W. Thiessen
President and CEO
US Media Contact:
Dan Gagnier, Gagnier Communications
Prospective information and other precautionary factors
This version includes certain statements that may be considered “forward-looking statements” under applicable law. All statements in this release, other than statements of historical facts, dealing with permits, development, and production for the Pebble Project are forward-looking statements. These statements include statements regarding (i) the mining plan for the Pebble Project, (ii) the social integration of the Pebble Project in the Bristol Bay region and the benefits for Alaska, (iii) political and public support in the permit process, (iv) the ability to successfully appeal the negative record of the decision and ensure the issuance of a positive record of the decision by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the ability of the Pebble Project to obtain state permits, (v) the appropriate size and risk of the Pebble Project, (vi) the design and operating parameters of the Pebble Project mining plan, (vii) exploration potential of the Pebble Project, (vii) viii) future demand for copper and gold, (ix) the potential partnership of the Pebble Project and (x) the capacity and timing of NDM to develop the Pebble Project and become a leading producer of copper, gold and molybdenum. While NDM believes that the expectations expressed in these forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements should not be construed in any way as guarantees that the Pebble Project will secure all necessary government permits, establish the commercial viability of the Pebble Project or develop the Pebble Project. Assumptions used by NDM to develop forward-looking statements include assumptions that (i) the Pebble Project will obtain all necessary environmental and other permits and all land use and other licenses without undue delay, (ii) studies for Project development Pebble will be positive, (iii) NDM’s mineral resource estimates will not change, (iv) NDM will be able to establish the commercial viability of the Pebble Project and (v) NDM will be able to secure the necessary funding to develop the Pebble Project. The likelihood of future mining in the Pebble Project is subject to a large number of risks and will require the achievement of a number of technical, economic and legal objectives, including (i) obtaining the necessary permits, licenses and approvals for mining and mining, without undue delay, including without delay due to opposition from third parties or changes in government policies, (ii) completion of the mining plan for the Pebble Project, (iii) conducting studies of viability that demonstrate that any mineral resource of the Pebble Project can be exploited economically, (iv)) completion of all necessary engineering for mining and processing facilities, (v) NDM’s inability to secure a partner for the development of the Pebble Project and (vi) the receipt by NDM of significant additional funding to fund these goals and funding. mine construction, the financing of which may not be available to NDM on acceptable terms or under any circumstances. NDM is also subject to the specific risks inherent in the mining business, as well as to general economic and business conditions, such as current uncertainties regarding COVID-19.
The environmental impact statement process of the National Environmental Policy Act requires a full assessment of alternatives to consider a wide range of development alternatives, the final design of the project, and the operational parameters of the Pebble project and associated infrastructure. they can vary significantly from those currently contemplated. As a result, the company will continue to consider several development options and no final project design has been selected at this time.
For more information about the company, investors should review the company’s applications to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and national jurisdiction applications that are available at www.sedar.com.
SOURCE: Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd.
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