Northern Dynasty’s Pebble on ‘cusp of resolution’ – by Lesley Stokes (Northern Miner – February 17, 2016)

VANCOUVER — There’s more battling ahead for Northern Dynasty Minerals (TSX: NDM; NYSE-MKT: NAK) as it prepares to dispute its case to the U.S. Federal court against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to veto development of its world-class Pebble deposit, 321 km southwest of Anchorage, Alaska.

Ron Thiessen, president and CEO of Northern Dynasty, said during a session at Vancouver’s Resource Investment Conference in January that the company is “on the cusp of a resolution,” and expects that a final decision will be reached this year.

The behemoth porphyry copper-gold deposit — which has measured and indicated resources of 57 billion lb. copper and 70 million oz. gold in 6.4 billion tonnes — is located at the headwaters of Bristol Bay, home to the world’s largest wild salmon fishery.

The fishery generates US$1.5 billion annually, supports tens of thousands of local jobs in the region, and supplies the world with half of its sockeye salmon.

The project was paralyzed in 2014 when the EPA enacted section 404c of the Clean Water Act to prohibit mining in the region, as it would create “unacceptable adverse impacts on the environment.”

But Thiessen argues that the EPA “hijacked” the project and ignored the company’s US$150-million environmental baseline report, instead pursuing its own studies in a quest to “pre-emptively kill” the proposed mine.

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