Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. [NDM-TSX; NAK-NYSE] on Monday January 11 said Alaska State Governor Mike Dunleavy issued a statement late last week to announce that his administration will formally appeal the US Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) recent decision to deny the company’s application for key permits related to its Pebble copper-gold deposit in southwest Alaska.
Northern Dynasty shares rallied on the news, rising 14% or $0.065 to 53 cents on volume of 1.3 million. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of $3.28 and 38.5 cents.
The negative record of decision (ROD) issued by the lead federal regulator of Alaska’s Pebble Project on November 25, 2020 denied the project a ‘dredge and fill’ permit under the Clean Water Act on the grounds that its compensatory mitigation plan is non-compliant and the project is ‘not in the public interest.’
In a statement released January 8, 2021, Governor Dunleavy said the USACE’s Record of Decision and accompanying denial of a Clean Water Act 404 permit for the proposed copper-gold-molybdenum-silver-rhenium project in southwest Alasaka is “flawed (and) creates a dangerous precedent that will undoubtedly harm Alaska’s future.’’
As owner of the land and subsurface mineral estate of Pebble, the State of Alaska has the right – along with Northern Dynasty’s 100%-owned U.S.-based subsidiary Pebble Ltd. Partnership, which owns state-issued minerals claims at the property – to launch an administrative appeal of the permitting decision, Northern Dynasty said in a press release.
The announcement comes after Northern Dynasty recently said its U.S. subsidiary is preparing a ‘request for appeal’ of the US Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to deny the company’s application for key permits related to its Pebble Project.
President Donald Trump revived the project early in his term after the Obama administration blocked it, but opposition from prominent politicians saying it would harm the state’s billion-dollar salmon industry prompted an about-face from the outgoing Trump administration.
At a 0.3% copper equivalent cut-off, the Pebble project is estimated to contain 6.456 billion tonnes in the combined measured and indicated categories at a grade of 0.40% copper, 0.34 g/t gold, 240 ppm molybdenum, containing 57 billion pounds of copper, 71 million ounces of gold, 3.4 billion pounds of molybdenum and 345 million ounces of silver.