ALASKA - Vancouver-based NORTHERN DYNASTY MINERALS and ANGLO AMERICAN PLC of London, U.K., have teamed up, creating a 50:50 joint venture to bring the Pebble copper-gold mine into production. Together they will invest US$1.43 billion in the project located 500 km southwest of Anchorage. Their schedule calls for completion of a pre-feasibility study in December 2008, a feasibility study by 2011, and commercial production by 2015.
The project's key asset is the near-surface, 4.1-billion-tonne Pebble West open pit deposit and the deeper and higher grade 3.4-billion-tonne Pebble East underground deposit that is amenable to bulk mining methods. With 67 billion lb of copper and 82 million oz of gold, Pebble is billed as the largest North American resource for both these metals. Globally it ranks second behind Freeport-McMoRan's Grasberg mine in Indonesia (80 billion lb Cu and 109 million oz Au) and ahead of Ivanhoe's Oyu Tolgoi project in Mongolia (71 billion lb Cu and 34 million oz Au), according to Northern Dynastys numbers.
The latest company presentation, posted in the Investor Centre at www.NorthernDynastyMinerals.com, gives a thorough explanation of the mining, environmental and community scope of the project.