Northern Dynasty Minerals - NAK

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Re: Northern Dynasty Minerals - NAK

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https://www.hakaimagazine.com/news/as-t ... al-review/

As the Pebble Mine Nears a Decision, Questions Surround its Environmental Review

Documents unveiled by a Freedom of Information Act request show agencies’ behind-the-scenes critiques of the proposed Pebble Mine.

Just months away from deciding whether to permit construction of the proposed Pebble Mine, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is wrapping up its environmental review. In early April, USACE received the last round of feedback from a selection of federal, state, local, and tribal groups. Some of that feedback—recently acquired and released[PDF] by the Bristol Bay Native Corporation (BBNC) using the Freedom of Information Act—is quite pointed.

Reviewing the released critiques, Dennis McLerran, who from 2010 to 2017 ran the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) office in the region that includes Alaska, says that stakeholder agencies think USACE is taking too narrow of a view of the Pebble Mine’s potential environmental impacts, and isn’t addressing fundamental issues with the project even at this late stage.

The Pebble Limited Partnership (PLP) plans to build an open-pit mine in a largely undeveloped stretch of southwest Alaska to extract a fraction of what may be the world’s biggest unexploited deposit of copper and gold. The proposed site for the mine lies under two rivers that drain into Bristol Bay, home to one of the world’s most productive wild salmon fisheries. That geography has contributed to a long and heated battle over the proposed mine, which has gained new momentum under the Trump administration.

The comments released by the BBNC—an organization representing Indigenous people with present or historical ties to the Bristol Bay region—come from a number of expert agencies including the EPA, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, as well as the Curyung and Nondalton tribal councils, whose members live in the vicinity of the proposed mine. This stakeholder feedback, usually kept confidential, was given to USACE as part of its ongoing environmental impact assessment. The BBNC has been a vocal opponent of the mine since 2009.

The critiques raise concerns about everything from the potential effects on fish to how the mine plans to treat the huge volumes of water it will use during operations and after it is retired.

“These comments have been consistently raised for years by other agencies,” says McLerran. “They’re frustrated by the lack of analysis and lack of responsiveness to many of these issues and questions.”

BBNC official Daniel Cheyette says he is encouraged that agencies are repeating many of the same criticisms of the latest draft of USACE’s environmental impact statement (EIS) as they had about last year’s draft. “They confirm that there’s still a lot of work to be done,” Cheyette says, calling out evidence of data gaps and missing information.

In their feedback on the near-final EIS, several agencies, including the EPA and the Fish and Wildlife Service, characterize USACE as minimizing threats to salmon and their habitats. The agencies’ critiques point to research showing that a diversity of habitats and salmon populations are what enable Bristol Bay’s thriving and consistent annual runs. Another recurring critique of the EIS is its lack of an adequate plan for mitigation to compensate for or offset the considerable losses of salmon-supporting streams and wetlands that would result from construction and operation of the mine and its supporting infrastructure.

In comments on behalf of the Nondalton Tribal Council, Richard Borden, a mining expert and former employee of the Rio Tinto mining group, calls PLP’s plans for long-term water treatment “extremely complex” and unproven at the proposed volumes. He also finds PLP’s plan for how the mine would eventually be closed and the land reclaimed “at best conceptual in nature,” and lacking enough detail to judge its performance or practicality.

Responding to the comments released by the BBNC, PLP argues that most of the agencies’ feedback can be addressed easily. In a statement provided by spokesperson Mike Heatwole, PLP says that while some agencies pointed out technical concerns, “some of the comments are based on factual or technical misunderstandings.” The company also says the BBNC “cherry-picks” from the comments to support its views, an accusation that Cheyette returned.

Ultimately, McLerran says, “Many of the issues in the comments go to the core of whether there are technical flaws in the analysis or not. The use of inadequate models, the failure to look at longer term cumulative impacts issues, the failure to adequately address impacts to streams and wetlands are all quite important.

“I am sure many of the agency comments will be addressed in the final document in some form, but the ultimate test is whether they will have been addressed adequately,” he adds.

That USACE’s near-final EIS is still beleaguered by such critiques so late in the assessment process fits into a pattern identified in a recent study published by researchers in the United States and Canada which shows surprisingly regular and concerning patterns of scientific shortcomings in environmental impact statements from the United States and six other nations.

While this study didn’t examine the Pebble Mine itself, the findings are reminiscent of critiques of the mine’s EIS. One consistent flaw of EISs, the study shows, is that most assume that mitigation measures will be effective, even without evidence or in the face of contrary evidence. According to the study, few EISs predict significant environmental damage or consider the ways damage can build up over time. For example, assessments of mining proposals frequently fail to consider the century-scale potential impacts that mines have on water quality.

With the Pebble Mine’s final EIS expected in June or July, David Hobbie, regulatory chief for USACE’s Alaska District, says the corps is continuing to work with other agencies to address all their comments. “Addressing doesn’t always equal the same as everybody agreeing,” he adds.

But here, the Curyung Tribal Council’s First Chief Thomas Tilden and tribal administrator Courtenay Carty are highly critical of USACE’s process. “On the substance, the Corps seems to equate the act of listening to issues raised by cooperating agencies with meaningfully addressing those issues,” they wrote in their comments.

On May 22, weeks after agencies had submitted their final comments, USACE introduced a twist to the Pebble Mine’s story: the corps announced its preferred route—what it deems the least environmentally harmful but still practical option—for transporting metals out of the mine. The route is considerably different from the plan originally proposed by PLP, and the company quickly embraced the change. Opponents of the project roundly condemned the last-minute switch, saying the new route was given only superficial scrutiny. “It doesn’t look anything like the project that the preliminary final EIS analyzed and that the cooperating agencies had a chance to look at,” says Cheyette.

According to USACE, this decision will allow it to pin down the project’s precise environmental impacts, and finally inform PLP what it would take to offset them. Hobbie says the corps will reveal that mitigation plan later this year when it announces the approval or rejection of the mine.

Outside agencies and the public are not expected to get another chance to provide critiques and comments on the Pebble Mine plan before then.

Authored by
by Ashley Braun





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Re: Northern Dynasty Minerals - NAK

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Dit project is al jaren een doorn in het oog van milieu activisten. De finale beslissing (FEIS) over de mijn valt over enkele weken.

Climate and Environment
EPA opts not to delay controversial Alaska mine for now
Backers of Pebble Mine hailed the decision as a step forward for the massive project near Bristol Bay

May 29, 2020 at 4:21 p.m. GMT+2
A top official at the Environmental Protection Agency informed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Alaska late Thursday that the EPA would not formally object at this point to the proposed Pebble Mine, a massive gold and copper deposit where mining could damage the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery.

Christopher Hladick, the EPA’s regional administrator for Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, wrote to the Alaska district engineer, Col. David Hibner, that the agency still has serious concerns about the plan, including that dredging for the open-pit mine “may well contribute to the permanent loss of 2,292 acres of wetlands and … 105.4 miles of streams.”
But Hladick said the EPA would not elevate the matter to the leadership of the two agencies, which could delay necessary approvals for the project to advance. The EPA “appreciates the Corps’ recent commitment to continue this coordination into the future,” he wrote.


The move marks the latest chapter in a years-long battle that has pitted a Canadian-owned mining company against commercial fishing operators, native Alaskans and conservationists determined to protect the unique and economically critical sockeye salmon fishery in Bristol Bay.
The Corps is set to decide this summer whether to grant a federal permit to the Pebble Partnership to move forward with the project. The EPA could still veto such a permit. Last year, it sent the Corps a letter saying the project slated for southwestern Alaska “may” harm “aquatic resources of national importance.”
But the EPA had to determine by Thursday whether the mine “will” cause such harm, and it opted not to do so — an indication that the environmental agency does not appear likely to block the mine.
Pebble Partnership chief executive Tom Collier, whose company has proposed a 20-year plan to extract copper, gold and molybdenum from a deposit worth hundreds of billions of dollars, hailed the decision in a statement as “another indication of positive progress for the project.”
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Rich Nolan, president and chief executive of the National Mining Association, also welcomed the EPA’s determination. “It is encouraging to see the permitting process proceeding as intended on this important project, especially after so many years of delay and inappropriate overreach,” he said in an email.
EPA staff warned Trump appointees their rollback had flaws, documents show

But opponents of the proposed mining operation — located in a watershed that supports a long-standing Alaska Native subsistence tradition, as well as a lucrative commercial and recreational fishery — noted that the EPA and other key agencies have raised concerns the Corps has yet to address.
“There are still many substantive issues with the project proposal that have yet to be resolved,” said the vice president of Bristol Bay Native Corp., Daniel Cheyette, whose Alasksa Native corporation opposes the mine, which would be the largest in North America.


Mark Ryan, a lawyer in private practice who served as regional counsel in EPA Region 10 between 1990 and 2014, said in a phone interview that the EPA’s letter appears contradictory.
“It’s a very odd letter,” Ryan said. “It points out the mine’s very serious environmental damage but then does not invoke EPA’s powers to elevate the issue for further discussion.”

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https://www.juniorminingnetwork.com/jun ... l-bay.html

Northern Dynasty Minerals: Pebble Partnership Rolls Out Revenue Sharing for Full-Time Residents of Bristol Bay

Mr. Ronald Thiessen reports:

‘Pebble Performance Dividend' to distribute 3% Net Profits Royalty Interest in future Pebble mine

VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / June 16, 2020 / Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. (TSX:NDM)(NYSE American:NAK) ("Northern Dynasty" or the "Company") reports that its 100%-owned US-based subsidiary Pebble Limited Partnership (the "Pebble Partnership") has announced a local revenue sharing program to ensure full-time residents of communities in southwest Alaska benefit directly from the future operation of the proposed Pebble mine.

The Pebble Partnership has established the Pebble Performance Dividend LLP to distribute a 3% Net Profits Royalty Interest in the Pebble Project to adult residents of Bristol Bay villages that have subscribed as participants. The Pebble Performance Dividend will distribute a guaranteed minimum annual payment of US $3 million each year the Pebble mine operates beginning at the outset of project construction, with future payments following capital payback expected to be significantly greater.

The Pebble Partnership announced the Pebble Performance Dividend today, and kicked off an enrollment period whereby full-time, adult residents of Bristol Bay villages can register to participate in the revenue sharing program.

Pebble Partnership CEO Tom Collier said the Pebble Performance Dividend helps fulfill a key promise made to local people: "When we rolled out our new, smaller mine plan in 2017, I made a commitment to find a way to share the opportunity Pebble represents with the residents of Bristol Bay. While not everyone will want to work at the mine, this ensures a direct way for everyone to participate."

"Developing a mine at Pebble will provide jobs, economic activity, local tax revenue and infrastructure. Today we are adding one more way residents of the region can directly benefit from Pebble."

Pebble's ‘dividend' program is intended to mirror Alaska's Permanent Fund, which distributes an annual dividend to full-time residents of Alaska each year based on revenue derived from natural resource activity in the state, including mining. Like the Permanent Fund, the Pebble Performance Dividend will help residents and families in rural villages in southwest Alaska remain in their home communities and pursue traditional, subsistence-based lifestyles.

"We're proud to offer this benefit to the people of Bristol Bay, and hope and believe it will help make these villages and the Alaska Native culture they support sustainable for future generations," said Northern Dynasty President & CEO Ron Thiessen.

The Pebble Project is expected to receive its Final Environmental Impact Statement ("EIS") from the US Army Corps of Engineers within a matter of weeks, and a federal Record of Decision this summer. The project must then secure state permits prior to the onset of construction - a process expected to take 2-3 years to complete.

"It's an exciting time for Northern Dynasty and the Pebble Partnership, as all the work we've done over many years to advance an environmentally sound, socially responsible and financially robust project is nearing its most critical permitting milestone," Thiessen said. "In our view, the time is right to formalize our commitment to the communities of Bristol Bay to ensure that the development of Pebble directly benefits the people and families that call the region home."

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 U.S. subsidiary, Pebble Limited Partnership ("PLP"), is a 100% interest in a contiguous block of 2,402 mineral claims in southwest Alaska, including the Pebble deposit. PLP 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

US Media Contact:

Dan Gagnier
Gagnier Communications
(646) 569-5897

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, that address exploration drilling, exploitation activities and events or developments that the Company expects are forward-looking statements. 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, that the Pebble Project will secure all required government permits, or of the Company's future performance.

Assumptions used by NDM to develop forward-looking statements include the assumptions that (i) the Pebble Project will obtain all required environmental and other permits and all land use and other licenses without undue delay, (ii) studies for the development of the Pebble Project will be positive, (iii) NDM will be able to establish the commercial feasibility of the Pebble Project, and (iv) NDM will be able to secure the financing required to develop the Pebble Project. 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 (i) obtaining necessary mining and construction permits, licenses and approvals without undue delay, including without delay due to third party opposition or changes in government policies, (ii) the completion of feasibility studies demonstrating the Pebble Project mineral reserves that can be economically mined, (iii) completion of all necessary engineering for mining and processing facilities, and (iv) receipt by NDM of significant additional financing to fund these objectives as well as funding mine construction, which financing may not be available to NDM on acceptable terms or on any terms at all. The Company is also subject to the specific risks inherent in the mining business as well as general economic and business conditions, as well as risks relating to the uncertainties with respect to the effects of COVID-19.

The National Environment Policy Act EIS process requires a comprehensive "alternatives assessment" be undertaken to consider a broad range of development alternatives, the final project design and operating parameters for the Pebble Project and associated infrastructure may vary significantly from that currently being advanced. As a result, the Company will continue to consider various development options and no final project design has been selected at this time.

For more information on the Company, Investors should review the Company's filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and its home jurisdiction filings that are available at www.sedar.com.
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Re: Northern Dynasty Minerals - NAK

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Northern Dynasty: Pebble Partnership Takes Next Steps for Sharing Low-Cost Energy with Bristol Bay Residents

VANCOUVER / ACCESSWIRE / June 25, 2020 / Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. (NDM.TO)(NYSE American:NAK) ("Northern Dynasty" or the "Company") reports that its 100%-owned US-based subsidiary Pebble Limited Partnership (the "Pebble Partnership") has announced a Request for Proposal ("RFP") process to advance planning for its plans to share power with interested communities in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska.

The Pebble Project's design includes the potential energy needs for the region. Pebble estimates 270 MW of power would be produced from a power plant at site. The plant will be powered with natural gas that will reach the site through a 12-inch natural gas pipeline.

"Our core business is focused on mining and we know we will need help advancing the power conversation in the region from an idea to a realistic plan," said PLP CEO Tom Collier. "Thus, what we really need is a strategic framework to guide decisions and to pull together a plan of action for how best to share affordable energy with local communities."

The Pebble Partnership release is available at www.pebblepartnership.com.

The RFP seeks a qualified bidder to facilitate discussions with local government, local utilities, tribal organizations, interested Bristol Bay residents, appropriate state and federal entities, and other regional organizations about the range of issues and opportunities the proposed power sharing concept presents.

"We have long believed that one of the more significant opportunities for the residents of the region would be the ability to receive lower cost, reliable energy from the project. I am pleased that the project continues to advance and is adding details to the many opportunities Pebble development represents," said Northern Dynasty President and CEO Ron Thiessen.

The Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision for Pebble are expected to be completed this summer. Collier noted as the project continues to pass major milestones that stakeholders can expect to see the company taking concrete steps on a range of issues long discussed. By example, PLP recently announced a profit-sharing plan for Bristol Bay residents.

"This continues to be an exciting time for Northern Dynasty and the Pebble Partnership as ideas begin to take hold with tangible details and planning. We look forward to the next steps in this process for potentially sharing life-changing low-cost energy in this part of Alaska," Thiessen said.

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 U.S. subsidiary, Pebble Limited Partnership ("PLP"), is a 100% interest in a contiguous block of 2,402 mineral claims in southwest Alaska, including the Pebble deposit. PLP 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

US Media Contact:
Dan Gagnier
Gagnier Communications
(646) 569-5897

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, that address exploration drilling, exploitation activities and events or developments that the Company expects are forward-looking statements. 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, that the Pebble Project will secure all required government permits, or of the Company's future performance.

Assumptions used by NDM to develop forward-looking statements include the assumptions that (i) the Pebble Project will obtain all required environmental and other permits and all land use and other licenses without undue delay, (ii) studies for the development of the Pebble Project will be positive, (iii) NDM will be able to establish the commercial feasibility of the Pebble Project, and (iv) NDM will be able to secure the financing required to develop the Pebble Project. 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 (i) obtaining necessary mining and construction permits, licenses and approvals without undue delay, including without delay due to third party opposition or changes in government policies, (ii) the completion of feasibility studies demonstrating the Pebble Project mineral reserves that can be economically mined, (iii) completion of all necessary engineering for mining and processing facilities, and (iv) receipt by NDM of significant additional financing to fund these objectives as well as funding mine construction, which financing may not be available to NDM on acceptable terms or on any terms at all. The Company is also subject to the specific risks inherent in the mining business as well as general economic and business conditions, as well as risks relating to the uncertainties with respect to the effects of COVID-19.

The National Environment Policy Act EIS process requires a comprehensive "alternatives assessment" be undertaken to consider a broad range of development alternatives, the final project design and operating parameters for the Pebble Project and associated infrastructure may vary significantly from that currently being advanced. As a result, the Company will continue to consider various development options and no final project design has been selected at this time.

For more information on the Company, Investors should review the Company's filings 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.


https://finance.yahoo.com/news/northern ... 00480.html

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Re: Northern Dynasty Minerals - NAK

Bericht door Munnybunny »

Zeer interessant interview met CEO Tom Collier waarin hij in detail uitwijdt over de vergunning die is aangevraagd, de frustraties, de wijzigingen die ze hebben aangebracht (oa de nieuwe route) om de milieu activisten (visserij) tegemoet te komen en over de counter feedback van de tegenstanders van de mijn.

De FEIS datum is nu officieel en wordt gepubliceerd op 24 juli
ROD volgt kort daarna.

It’s excitiiiiiiiing!

https://m.soundcloud.com/user-988952581 ... nergy-hour

Vanaf minuut 28:20. Na korte onderbreking gaat interview verder op 42:40.
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Re: Northern Dynasty Minerals - NAK

Bericht door Munnybunny »

Bristol Bay fishermen wait as proposed Pebble mine churns through federal permit application process

pencil Author: Laine Welch | Fish Factor |
Updated: 12 hours ago calendar Published 13 hours ago

The biggest red salmon run in the world is building at Bristol Bay.

Up to 50 million fish could surge into its eight river systems in coming weeks, on par with past seasons. When it’s all done, the fishery will provide nearly half the global supply of wild sockeye salmon.

But this summer is different, not only due to the restrictions and fears and economic chaos caused by COVID-19.

At the height of the fishery, fishermen will learn if a massive gold and copper mine that’s been hanging over their heads for two decades gets a greenlight from the federal government.

In mid-July, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will unveil its federal “record of decision” on the permit application by Northern Dynasty of Vancouver, B.C., to build the Pebble mine at the sprawling mosaic of headwaters that provide the spawning and rearing grounds for the region’s salmon.

Three decisions are possible for the mine: issue a permit, issue a permit with conditions or deny the application.


Het is een lang artikel voor de geïnteresseerden de link naar Anchorage News

https://www.adn.com/opinions/2020/06/30 ... n-process/
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