Northern Dynasty To Appeal Pebble Mine Permit Rejection

Here’s some of Northern Dynasty’s press release from today:

Northern Dynasty’s 100%-owned, US-based subsidiary Pebble Limited Partnership (the “Pebble Partnership”) is preparing a ‘request for appeal’ (“RFA”) with respect to the USACE’s November 25, 2020 issuance of a negative Record of Decision (“ROD”) for the proposed copper-gold-molybdenum-silver- rhenium mine. To be submitted in January 2021, the Pebble Partnership’s RFA is expected to argue, among other things, that the USACE’s mitigation requirements for Pebble are contrary to policy and precedent in Alaska, and the agency’s rejection of its CMP is both procedurally and substantively invalid.

“The US Army Corps of Engineers issued a finding this summer that Pebble would cause ‘significant degradation’ to aquatic resources in the project area, and on that basis issued mitigation requirements that were both extreme and unprecedented in Alaska,” said Northern Dynasty President & CEO Ron Thiessen. “Although we believe the USACE’s ‘significant degradation’ finding to be contrary to law and unsupported by the administrative record as established by the Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”), we set out in good faith to meet their demand for in-kind and in-watershed mitigation at a very high and unprecedented ratio for Alaska – and after a tremendous amount of professional effort and investment, we did it.

“For the USACE to summarily reject a CMP that is directly responsive to its requirements, to do it on the basis of what we believe to be largely minor and arbitrary deficiencies and without giving the proponent an opportunity to respond to those alleged deficiencies or otherwise amend its application is, we believe, without precedent in the long history of responsible resource development in Alaska.”

Here’s some reaction, starting with a United Tribes of Bristol Bay statement:

“Pebble’s appeal makes clear the need for permanent protections for Bristol Bay that ensure no company, Pebble or otherwise, will be allowed to operate a toxic, large-scale hard rock mine in the waters that support our fishery and all it sustains. Today’s filing is simply a dying company’s last-ditch attempt to get investors and regulators to throw them a life line, yet it still causes uncertainty and stress for our region. Our people have been fighting this mine for nearly two decades, and it’s time, once and for all, to put an end to the prospect of projects like Pebble and to allow our communities to focus on building a vibrant, sustainable region for future generations. The people of Bristol Bay have been clear: Pebble is not the future we want. We hope our elected leaders will work quickly to enact permanent protections, such as those outlined in our “Call to Protect Bristol Bay” – Clean Water Act 404C protections and congressional action to establish a protective National Fisheries Area.” – UTBB Deputy Director Lindsay Layland

We’ll update with more statements as they come in.