Northern Dynasty comments on U.S. Pebble report

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Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. (NDM-TSX, NAK-NYSE) on Monday expressed disappointment in a U.S. government report on its flagship Pebble project in Alaska.

The company was responding to a U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure report on the Pebble project.

“To begin, we have not had time to review the 163-page report. It was clearly shared with some of the media before it was shared with us. Thus our comments are initial and we will have more to share with the public,’’ said Northern Dynasty said John Shively, CEO of Northern Dynasty’s wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary Pebble LP.

“We want to be absolutely clear, however, that to the extent that the report contains any suggestion that we tried to mislead regulators in any way, it is categorically wrong and misinformed of the realities of the Pebble permitting process,’’ he said.

Shively went on to say in a press release that the company has been “forthright and clear in all of our public communications and with regulators that Pebble would need to be permitted in phases.”

“We have been equally clear with all stakeholders that: (a) we are planning to construct and operate an initial mine at Pebble for 20 years; (b) that initial plan did not mine the entire resource; and (c) at some future time, we would likely consider an expansion, but had no formal specific plans for additional mining at Pebble (nor could we given the contingencies associated with the initial phase submitted for permitting),” Shively said.

“This information was also presented in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process and related documents for the project,’’ he said.

“We have been up front that the resource and opportunity at Pebble are significant, and that any future opportunity would require another comprehensive permitting process. We openly shared all of this with the committee and are extremely disappointed with the politicization of the so-called review of the project that is inconsistent with reality. We look forward to laying out the essential context missing from the report.’’

Northern Dynasty’s key asset is a 100% interest in a contiguous block of 1,840 mineral claims in southwestern Alaska, including the Pebble deposit. First discovered in 1989, the Pebble project ranks as one of the world’s largest undeveloped gold-copper resources.

The company recently struck a royalty deal with an un-named investor who has agreed to pay up to US$60 million over the next two years in return for the right to receive a portion of future gold and silver production from the Pebble project.

The company said it received an initial payment of US$12 million from the royalty holder concurrently with the execution of the agreement.

Northern Dynasty President and CEO Ron Thiessen said the financing gives the company financial wherewithal to keep fighting against what it considers to be unfounded interference by U.S. Federal Government agencies in an otherwise well-established legal permitting process, as well as to deal with challenges from well-funded parties from outside the area that lack scientific and other factual studies to support their opposition.

On October 20, 2022, Northern Dynasty shares closed at 33.5 cents and currently trade in a 52-week range of 65 cents and 31 cents.


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