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EPA deals potentially fatal blow to Pebble mine

by News Desk
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Vancouver’s Northern Dynasty Minerals (TSX: NDM, NYSE:NAK) shares fell 8% Tuesday morning following the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final decision on the company’s pebble mine. project.

Northern Dynasty has now vowed to contest the decision in court.

John Sibley, CEO of Pebble Partnership, a subsidiary of Northern Dynasty, said:

“This preemptive action against Pebble is not legally, technically or environmentally supported, so the next step will be to take legal action to combat this injustice.”

Said to be the world’s largest untapped copper and gold deposit, the Pebble Project sits on a watershed that flows into Bristol Bay, the world’s most important and abundant sockeye salmon system.

Concerns about the impact on salmon in Bristol Bay have led the EPA to a final decision announced today. This essentially prohibits the construction of mines as it would limit the disposal of construction or mining waste within the basin. Also, all mines produce waste rock, so it’s hard to imagine how a project could be built without being able to deposit waste rock.

The EPA ruled that “dredging or discharge of filler material for the construction and routine operations of the mines identified in the 2020 Mine Plan …is acceptable in the SFK and NFK watershed run-up fishing areas at the Pebble Deposit. It will have irreparable harm.

“Accordingly, the Water Administration Advisor will use U.S. waters within restricted zones as a disposal site for discharging dredged or fill material related to future proposals to build and operate mines to develop the Pebble deposit. restrict the use of

“Today’s decision may be the most popular federal government has ever made for Alaska,” SalmonState executive director Tim Bristol said in a news release. “Thousands of Alaskans and more than a million Americans across the political spectrum are calling for Bristol Bay’s unique salmon stock to be protected from large-scale open-pit mining, and today, the EPA is doing just that. realized.”

Northern Dynasty could side with Alaska in a legal challenge opposing the EPA’s decision. Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy opposes federal intervention in national affairs regarding the Pebble Mine.

“This proposal has deep implications for Alaska,” Dunleavy wrote to the EPA’s Region 10 in October 2022. “The proposed veto injects the EPA into the heart of Alaskan politics. ”

“The land around Pebble was selected by the state for its mineral potential as part of the process of Alaskan elevation to statehood,” said Sibley. “The EPA continues to blatantly ignore state concerns on this matter.

“The EPA violates the U.S. Constitution by taking away the states and the project’s legally protected ownership of the land’s underlying mineral rights without just compensation,” Sibley wrote. there is

“Whether and how Alaska will responsibly develop mineral and/or fishery resources in Bristol Bay will take into account the views of all stakeholders and will be subject to a standard permitting process. It is Alaska’s decision to work through,” Dunleavy wrote in October. “The EPA will instead shut out further discussion and deprive us of this important decision that affects so many Alaskans.”

In response to today’s EPA ruling, Dunleavy said, “The EPA’s veto sets a dangerous precedent.

“My administration will defend the rights of the Alaskan people, Alaskan property owners, and Alaska’s future. Alaska has a responsibility to develop itself and the resources to provide for its people.”

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