VANCOUVER, May 22, 2014 /CNW/ - Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. (TSX:
NDM; NYSE MKT: NAK) ("Northern Dynasty" or the "Company") announces
that the Pebble Limited Partnership ("Pebble Partnership" or "PLP") has
filed suit in U.S. District Court for Alaska to halt a regulatory
process initiated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA")
under the Clean Water Act ("CWA"). PLP's complaint asserts that, in the
absence of a permit application, EPA's Section 404(c) regulatory
process initiated on February 28, 2014 exceeds the federal agency's
authority under the CWA, and violates the Alaska Statehood Act among
other federal laws.
"While Congress provided EPA a legitimate and important role in
assessing CWA 404 permits, it is clear that the US Army Corps of
Engineers ("USACE") is the lead federal agency for such permits and
that the State of Alaska also has a central regulatory role to play,"
said Northern Dynasty President & CEO Ron Thiessen. "EPA's unilateral
process to pre-judge Pebble before a project is proposed or permits
are sought not only undermines the legitimate authority of the USACE
and the State, it would also establish a damaging precedent that will
have significant long-term effects on business investment in Alaska and
throughout the United States."
PLP's complaint explains that, while EPA has authority under the CWA to
veto Section 404 'dredge or fill' permits issued by USACE if it
determines the permitted activity poses an unacceptable risk of adverse
effects to aquatic resources, it must do so based on an actual permit
specifying both a specific disposal site and specific fill material.
The CWA does not provide EPA the power to pro-actively veto potential
uses of State land in the absence of a permit application or approval,
noting the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized that, "regulation of land use, as through the issuance of development
permits…is a quintessential state and local power."
PLP also explains that EPA's regulatory process is contrary to the
Alaska Statehood Act and other federal legislation by which the Pebble
lands were granted to the state, stating that "A veto would be an unlawful revocation of Alaska's statutory right to
select and develop minerals on these lands."
The Pebble Partnership, the State of Alaska, as well as Alaska business
and Native groups, have called on EPA to stand down from its
unprecedented, unilateral and pre-emptive regulatory process, to wait
for PLP to submit a development proposal for Pebble and for the USACE
to undertake an Environmental Impact Statement ("EIS") review process
under the National Environmental Policy Act ("NEPA"). The EPA would
retain its statutory authority to participate fully in the NEPA process
to come and as no development can be commenced without the requisite
permits, no environmental harm can occur during the NEPA process.
"Thus far, EPA has refused our and others' repeated requests to allow
Pebble to be reviewed via an objective, exhaustive, transparent and
inclusive EIS process under NEPA," Thiessen said. "At this point, we
feel we have little choice but to petition the federal court to issue
an injunction to halt a regulatory process we believe is contrary to
About the Pebble Project
The Pebble Project is an initiative of the Pebble Partnership to
responsibly develop a globally significant copper, gold and molybdenum
deposit in southwest Alaska into a modern, long-life mine, which will
benefit not only the owner, but the people, culture and industries of
the State of Alaska, as well as suppliers, consultants and industries
in the Lower 48 United States of America.
A 2013 study authored by IHS Global Insight, entitled The Economic and Employment Contributions of a Conceptual Pebble Mine to
the Alaska and United States Economies found the Pebble Project has the potential to support 15,000 American
jobs and contribute more than $2.5 billion annually to US GDP over
decades of production. The IHS Global Insight study is available at www.northerndynasty.com.
The Pebble Project is located 200 miles southwest of Anchorage on state
land designated for mineral exploration and development. It is situated
in a region of rolling tundra approximately 1,000 feet above sea-level,
65 miles from tidewater on Cook Inlet and presents favourable
conditions for successful mine site and infrastructure development.
About Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd.
Northern Dynasty is a mineral exploration and development company based
in Vancouver, Canada. Northern Dynasty's principal asset is the Pebble
Project in southwest Alaska, USA, an advanced-stage initiative to
develop one of the world's most important mineral resources.
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. 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 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 obtaining necessary
mining and construction permits, completion of pre-feasibility and
final feasibility studies, preparation of all necessary engineering for
underground workings 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 annual Form 40-F filing 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.
For further information:
For further details on Northern Dynasty and the Pebble Project, please visit the Company's website at www.northerndynasty.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.