VANCOUVER, Feb. 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ - Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. (TSX: NDM; NYSE MKT: NAK) ("Northern Dynasty" or the "Company") announces that the US Army Corps of Engineers ("the Corps") has selected the third-party contractor that will support them in completing an Environmental Impact Statement ("EIS") for the Pebble Project, signaling the next milestone in the advancement of a National Environmental Policy Act ("NEPA") review of the proposed open pit copper-gold-molybdenum mine in southwest Alaska.
The Corps advised Northern Dynasty's wholly-owned US-based subsidiary Pebble Limited Partnership (the "Pebble Partnership") on Friday, February 2 that AECOM has been selected from a short-list of qualified firms to complete the Pebble EIS. AECOM is a global, integrated engineering, environmental, construction and infrastructure development firm with a long history of providing NEPA compliance and other regulatory support services associated with development of large mineral and oil and gas resource projects in Alaska and the United States.
"We're pleased to see the NEPA permitting process for Pebble continues to advance in an efficient and predictable way, and look forward to the completion of an Environmental Impact Statement that defines the true impacts, mitigation measures and benefits of our proposed development," said Northern Dynasty President & CEO Ron Thiessen. "We have every confidence that the 3rd party contractor the Corps has selected will help facilitate an objective, credible and science-based review that supports informed and balanced decision-making about the Pebble Project."
The Pebble Partnership confirmed that AECOM is now under contract, and the Corps is expected to move forward to initiate the scoping process for the Pebble EIS in the months ahead. Scoping is a public process that precedes the development of a draft Environmental Impact Statement, whereby residents of the Bristol Bay region, Alaskans and all project stakeholders will be able to provide input on the broad range of issues and concerns they'd like to see addressed over the course of permitting for the Pebble Project.
Public scoping meetings will be hosted by the Corps this spring, in addition to other public participation opportunities. A formal consultation and public comment process will also be facilitated by the Corps following publication of the Pebble Draft EIS – expected sometime in 2019.
"With AECOM, the US Army Corps of Engineers has selected a firm with extensive global experience in mineral development and mining, in engineering and environmental science, as well as in working with regulators to develop objective, science-based Environmental Impact Statements for complex, multi-faceted projects like Pebble" said Pebble Partnership CEO Tom Collier. "They also have a strong presence and deep experience in Alaska – strengths that we believe will ensure the efficient advancement of a comprehensive and credible EIS for Pebble over the next several years."
Collier noted that AECOM 's recent experience with NEPA EIS permitting reviews include Alaska's Donlin Gold and Chuitna Coal projects, the Midas Gold Stibnite project in Idaho, and Lone Star Mine in Arizona. The consulting firm also has recent and relevant engineering and environmental services experience at operating mines throughout the United States, including Red Dog and Green's Creek in Alaska, Kennecott in Utah, and Morenci in Arizona.
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
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 or of the Company's future performance or the outcome of litigation.
Assumptions used by the Company to develop forward-looking statements include the following: the Pebble Project will obtain all required environmental and other permits and all land use and other licenses, studies and development of the Pebble Project will continue to be positive, and no geological or technical problems will occur. The likelihood of a partnering transaction is subject to risks related to the satisfactory completion of due diligence and negotiations, including finalization of definitive agreements and fulfilment of conditions precedent therein, including receipt of all necessary approvals. Such process may not be successfully completed or completed on terms satisfactory to the Company. The likelihood of future mining at the Pebble Project and will require achievement of a number of technical, economic and legal objectives, including obtaining necessary mining and construction permits, approvals, licenses and title on a timely basis, and is subject to a large number of risks, including government actions and delays due to third party opposition, changes in government policies regarding mining and natural resource exploration and exploitation, the final outcome of any litigation, completion of pre-feasibility and final feasibility studies, preparation of all necessary engineering for surface or underground mining and processing facilities as well as receipt of significant additional financing to fund these objectives as well as funding mine construction. Such funding may not be available to the Company on acceptable terms or on any terms at all. There is no known ore at the Pebble Project and there is no assurance that the mineralization at the Pebble Project will ever be classified as ore. The need for compliance with extensive environmental and socio-economic rules and practices and the requirement for the Company to obtain government permitting can cause a delay or even abandonment of a mineral project. The Company is also subject to the specific risks inherent in the mining business as well as general economic and business conditions. 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.