Pebble Mine Investor Again Needs Time to Finish Deal – by Stephen Lee ( – May 1, 2018)

The backer of an Alaska copper and gold mine project said May 1 it needs another month to finish an agreement with the mine’s owner.

Should financier First Quantum Minerals Ltd. and Pebble Mine owner Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. fail to come together, the project would be in trouble. Northern Dynasty needs First Quantum’s $150 million cash infusion to file its application for permitting and to cover its legal and consulting costs, while the Army Corps of Engineers writes its environmental impact statement.

Meanwhile, Northern Dynasty’s financial filings sketch a picture of a company operating close to the bone. The company only has roughly $50 million in cash on hand, according to a March 29 financial statement.

The extension is the second delay between the two companies. Originally, the financing deal was supposed to be wrapped up by April 6. One day before that deadline hit, First Quantum and Northern Dynasty gave themselves 24 more days.

Neither First Quantum nor Northern Dynasty responded to interview requests about the delays.A May 1 Northern Dynasty news release didn’t point to any specific reason for the continued delay, apart from language about how the deal hinges on the completion of due diligence, regulatory approval, and “the successful negotiation of the final form of the option agreement and associated commercial agreements.”

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