Quantum Pebble leap: First Quantum enters $1.5B deal for half of Pebble; permitting begins – – by Shane Lasley (Mining News – December 24, 2017)

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In a framework agreement announced on Dec. 18, First Quantum Minerals Ltd. was revealed as the major mining company that will complete the Pebble Limited Partnership.

“We have made good progress in the partnering process and are very pleased to be in advanced-stage discussions with First Quantum, an industry leader in mine development and management,” Ron Thiessen, president and CEO, Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd., currently the sole owner of the Pebble Partnership.

While the final details of an agreement that will provide First Quantum the option to own half of the Pebble Partnership are being hammered out, the US$1.5 billion preliminary agreement announced on Monday includes a US$150 million investment by First Quantum the will involve four equal payments of US$37.5 million to fund the upcoming permitting process for Pebble.

As long as the option remains in good standing, the global miner has the right to acquire 50 percent interest in the world-class Pebble copper-gold mine project by investing another US$1.35 billion into the partnership at the end of the four-year option period.

“This initial investment by a well-established copper mining company speaks volumes about the economic opportunity Pebble represents to Alaska,” said Pebble Partnership CEO Tom Collier. “Pebble development could make a significant contribution to Alaska’s economy and provide year-round jobs for Southwest Alaska. Additionally, Pebble could provide important revenue to state and local governments.”

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