Northern Dynasty expects final Pebble EIS next week
Northern Dynasty Minerals (TSX: NDM) subsidiary Pebble Limited Partnership issued a public statement in Alaska on Wednesday on the pending release of the final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Pebble project.
Pebble Partnership CEO Tom Collier said he expects the final EIS to be published in the Federal Register on July 24 based on conversations with the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), which had previously set a target release date of July 15.
“This will mark one of the most significant milestones for the Pebble project. Following the final EIS, the USACE will use this document as it prepares the Record of Decision (ROD) for Pebble – a step expected to follow the publication of the final EIS,” Collier said.
Addressing concerns that failure to publish the final EIS on the target date may signal a major delay, Collier said “this is not the case.”
“Throughout this review process, the USACE has closely tracked their timeline and public projections for process milestones. Our project team looks forward to reviewing the final document next week and then getting ready for initiating state permitting,” he added.
A draft version of the EIS released in February indicated that the project could co-exist with the fisheries and water resources of the Bristol Bay area. Conservationists, local activists, fishermen and federal regulators have long argued that industrial, open-pit mining operations could threaten the region’s flourishing sockeye salmon fishery.
If permitted, the Pebble operation would be North America’s largest mine, according to a study by the Center for Science in Public Participation.