Northern Dynasty: permitting for Southwest Alaska's Pebble Project remains on track
2017 settlement agreement provides clear path for project review and permitting
VANCOUVER, Jan. 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ – Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. (TSX: NDM; NYSE MKT: NAK) ("Northern Dynasty" or the "Company") confirms the Environmental Impact Statement ("EIS") permitting process for Southwest Alaska's Pebble Project continues to advance under the guidance of lead federal agency, the US Army Corps of Engineers ("the Corps").
"The settlement agreement that the Pebble Partnership entered into with the US Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") last year provides Pebble an unfettered opportunity to proceed through normal course permitting under the Clean Water Act and National Environmental Policy Act," said Northern Dynasty President & CEO Ron Thiessen. "We have every confidence that Pebble's ultimate project design will meet the rigorous environmental standards enforced in Alaska and the US, and that the EIS permitting process initiated by the Corps this month will demonstrate that compliance through an open, objective, transparent and science-driven review."
Under the terms of a May 2017 settlement agreement reached between Northern Dynasty's 100%-owned subsidiary Pebble Limited Partnership and the US EPA, the federal agency agreed it will not advance any action under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act until a final EIS for the Pebble Project has been completed – so long as that occurs within four years of the settlement agreement and Pebble files permit applications within 30 months of the settlement agreement. Earlier this month, the Corps accepted as complete a CWA 404 permit application submitted by the Pebble Partnership in December 2017, and has initiated the EIS permitting process.
Northern Dynasty acknowledged a statement issued today by the EPA that indicates the federal agency will continue to support Pebble's due process rights as agreed in the settlement, though it has suspended withdrawal of a pre-emptive regulatory action under CWA 404(c) initiated at Pebble in July 2014.
"We expect the permitting process for Pebble to advance expeditiously over the next few years, and that a draft and final EIS will be completed upon which final permitting decisions for the Pebble Project will be made," Thiessen said. "Ultimately, we believe the Pebble EIS will describe a project that protects clean water and the world-class fisheries of Bristol Bay, and presents the opportunity for substantial economic benefits for the people of the region and the state. We'd encourage all Alaskans and all interested stakeholders to participate fully in the thorough, objective and rigorous review of the Pebble Project."
About Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd.
Northern Dynasty is a mineral exploration and development company based in Vancouver, Canada. Northern Dynasty's principal asset, owned through its wholly-owned Alaska-based US subsidiary Pebble Limited Partnership and other wholly-owned subsidiaries, is a 100% interest in a contiguous block of 2,402 mineral claims in southwest Alaska, including the Pebble deposit. The Pebble Partnership is the proponent of the Pebble Project, an initiative to develop one of the world's most important mineral resources.
For further details on Northern Dynasty and the Pebble Project, please visit the Company's website at www.northerndynastyminerals.com or contact Investor services at (604) 684-6365 or within North America at 1-800-667-2114. Review Canadian public filings at www.sedar.com and US public filings at www.sec.gov.
Ronald W. Thiessen,
President & CEO