Northern Dynasty confirms $80 million work program to advance the Pebble Project in 2013
VANCOUVER, April 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd.
(“Northern Dynasty” or the “Company”) (TSX: NDM; NYSE MKT: NAK)
announces that the Board of Directors of Pebble Mines Corp., the
general partner of the Pebble Limited Partnership (the “Pebble
Partnership” or “PLP”) has approved a budget of approximately US$80
million to advance the Pebble Project in 2013, with the goal of
initiating permitting under the National Environmental Policy Act
(NEPA) before the end of the year.
“Following a very substantial pre-permitting planning program and years
of comprehensive study, the Pebble Partnership is now nearing the final
stages of completing its Project Description for the Pebble Project,”
said Northern Dynasty President & CEO Ronald Thiessen. “By the time the
Pebble Partnership triggers permitting under NEPA, more than US$700
million will have been invested to ensure a robust project design from
a technical, financial, environmental and social perspective. PLP fully
expects that the rigor of that work will be recognized and reflected in
the outcome and efficiency of the NEPA permitting process.”
Since the Pebble Partnership was established in July 2007, a subsidiary
of Anglo American plc has invested approximately US$500 million to
advance engineering, environmental and socioeconomic studies. When
added to Northern Dynasty’s initial $180 million contribution,
investments in the Pebble Project total $680 million. This year the
budgeted US$80 million expenditures for the Pebble Project will
-- engineering studies to complete a Project Description and advance a Prefeasibility Study (PFS);
-- continued environmental monitoring studies in key areas including groundwater hydrology, water quality and fisheries resources;
-- site investigations, including exploration, geotechnical and metallurgical drilling, as well as geo-hydrological testing; and
-- stakeholder engagement and public affairs programming, workforce and business development initiatives, public education and community investment.
“The Pebble Partnership will soon release a National Economic Impact
Study of the Pebble Project, which together with the Workforce
Development Plan and project planning updates will form the basis for
an enhanced public engagement initiative this year,” Thiessen said.
“The Pebble Partnership will continue to meet and consult with people
and communities throughout southwest Alaska about the many aspects of
this project, while listening to their issues and questions and
describing how the Pebble Project will be built and operated to
co-exist with clean water and healthy fisheries, and provide
significant benefits to the region and country.”
About the Pebble Project
The Pebble Project is an initiative of the Pebble Partnership to
responsibly develop a globally significant copper, gold and molybdenum
deposit in southwest Alaska into a modern, long-life mine, which will
benefit not only the proponent and its partners, but the people,
culture and industries of the State of Alaska, as well as suppliers,
consultants and industries in the Lower 48 United States of America.
The project is located 200 miles southwest of Anchorage on state land
designated for mineral exploration and development. It is situated in a
region of rolling tundra approximately 1,000 feet above sea-level, 65
miles from tidewater on Cook Inlet and presents favourable conditions
for successful mine site and infrastructure development.
The Pebble Project consists of the Pebble deposit, surrounding mineral
claims and a stream of financing being provided by Northern Dynasty’s
project partner Anglo American US (Pebble) LLC. The Pebble Partnership
was established in July 2007 as a 50:50 partnership between a
wholly-owned affiliate of Northern Dynasty and a wholly-owned
subsidiary of Anglo American plc. Both Northern Dynasty and Anglo
American have equal ownership and direction of the Pebble Partnership.
Under the terms of the Pebble Limited Partnership Agreement, Anglo
American is required to elect to commit $1.5 billion in staged
investments in order to retain its 50% interest in the Pebble Project.
Funds provided by Anglo American are currently being invested in
comprehensive exploration, engineering, environmental and socioeconomic
programs toward the future development of the Pebble Project.
About Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd.
Northern Dynasty is a mineral exploration and development company based
in Vancouver, Canada, which holds indirect interests in over 600 sq.
miles of mineral claims in southwest Alaska, USA. Northern Dynasty’s
principal asset is a 50% interest in the Pebble Partnership, owner of
the Pebble Project. The Pebble Project is an advanced-stage initiative
to develop one of the world’s most important mineral resources.
Ronald W. Thiessen
President & CEO
No regulatory authority accepts responsibility for the adequacy or
accuracy of this release. Northern Dynasty is solely and entirely
responsible for the contents of this news release. No other party,
including any parties which have an interest in the project, are in any
way responsible for the contents hereof.
Forward Looking Information and other Cautionary Factors
This release includes certain statements that may be deemed
“forward-looking statements”. All statements in this release, other
than statements of historical facts, especially those that address
estimated resource quantities, grades and contained metals, are
forward-looking statements because they are generally made on the basis
of estimation and extrapolation from a limited number of drill holes
and metallurgical studies. Although diamond drill hole core provides
valuable information about the size, shape and geology of an
exploration project, there will always remain a significant degree of
uncertainty in connection with these valuation factors until a deposit
has been extensively drilled on closely spaced centers, which has
occurred only in specific areas on the Pebble Project. Although the
Company believes the expectations expressed in its forward-looking
statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements should
not be in any way construed as guarantees of the ultimate size, quality
or commercial feasibility of the Pebble Project or of the Company’s
future performance. The likelihood of future mining at the Pebble
Project is subject to a large number of risks and will require
achievement of a number of technical, economic and legal objectives,
including obtaining necessary mining and construction permits,
completion of pre-feasibility and final feasibility studies,
preparation of all necessary engineering for underground workings and
processing facilities as well as receipt of significant additional
financing to fund these objectives as well as funding mine
construction. Such funding may not be available to the Company on
acceptable terms or on any terms at all. There is no known ore at the
Pebble Project and there is no assurance that the mineralization at the
Pebble Project will ever be classified as ore. The need for compliance
with extensive environmental and socio-economic rules and practices and
the requirement for the Company to obtain government permitting can
cause a delay or even abandonment of a mineral project. The Company is
also subject to the specific risks inherent in the mining business as
well as general economic and business conditions. For more information
on the Company, Investors should review the Company’s annual Form 40-F
filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and
its home jurisdiction filings that are available at www.sedar.com.
SOURCE Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd.