ALASKA – Northern Dynasty Minerals, sole owner of the Pebble Limited Partnership, is seeking through the PLP to halt a regulatory process begun by the US Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Water Act. Specifically, the PLP says that it has not yet applied for a permit for the Pebble copper-gold mine 380 km from Anchorage, the government agency has no authority to start hearings as it did on Feb. 28, 2014 after certain groups raised concerns about the Bristol Bay watershed.
"While Congress provided EPA a legitimate and important role in assessing CWA 404 permits, it is clear that the US Army Corps of Engineers is the lead federal agency for such permits and that the state of Alaska also has a central regulatory role to play," said Northern Dynasty president & CEO Ron Thiessen. "EPA's unilateral process to pre-judge Pebble before a project is proposed or permits are sought not only undermines the legitimate authority of the USACE and the state, it would also establish a damaging precedent that will have significant long term effects on business investment in Alaska and throughout the United States."
Also at stake is the right of a state to regulate land use. PLP pointed out that if the federal agency acts now, before a proposal is put forward, and vetoes the project it would be committing "an unlawful revocation of Alaska's statutory right to select and develop minerals on these lands."
Northern Dynasty points out that the Pebble project offers a modern, long life mine to the benefit of not only the owner but the people, cultures and industries of Alaska, as well as suppliers, consultants and others. The project has the potential to support 15,000 jobs and contribute more than $2.5 billion annually to the US gross domestic product.
Resources were estimated in 2010 at a 0.04% CuEq cut-off to include 5.40 billion measured and indicated tonnes grading 0.45% Cu, 0.36 g/t Au or 55.0 billion lb of copper and 62.5 million oz of gold. The inferred resource was calculated at 2.8 billion tonnes grading 0.32% Cu and 0.30 g/t Au or 20.1 billion lb of copper and 27.4 million oz of gold. The deposit also contains an estimated 4.7 billion lb of molybdenum in all categories.
Complete information about the project is available at NorthernDynastyMinerals.com.