Alaska mine developer Northern Dynasty wins U.S. EPA reprieve, shares soar – by Nichola Saminather (Reuters Canada – July 30, 2019)

TORONTO (Reuters) – The Trump administration said on Tuesday it would lift an Obama-era restriction on the world’s biggest undeveloped gold and copper resource owned by Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd, sending the Canadian company’s shares soaring.

Under former U.S. President Barack Obama, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2014 proposed limits on large-scale mining in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed, citing environmental concerns. Under President Donald Trump, the EPA has dismantled scores of environmental rules and Trump rejects mainstream climate science.

Northern Dynasty’s site is near Lake Iliamna in southwestern Alaska between the headwaters of two rivers that drain into Bristol Bay, and is known for its huge salmon runs, wilderness and abundant brown bears.

The pebble mine is expected to produce 70 million tons of gold, molybdenum and copper ore per year and create a pit 1,970 feet (600 meters) deep.

The proposed restrictions were based on hypothetical scenarios that were different from Northern Dynasty’s submitted permit application, the EPA said in a statement, adding the company will still need to go through the permit application process.

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