VANCOUVER, Feb. 15, 2012 /CNW/ - Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. ("Northern Dynasty" or the "Company")
(TSX: NDM; NYSE Amex: NAK) announces that the Pebble Limited
Partnership (the "Pebble Partnership" or "PLP") has released its
Environmental Baseline Document (EBD) for the Pebble Project,
characterizing existing physical, biological and social conditions in
the project area, in anticipation of initiating project permitting
The Pebble Partnership has spent seven years and US$150 million
compiling the EBD, which contains more than 27,000 pages of scientific
data and analyses characterizing a broad range of environmental and
social conditions in southwest Alaska - including climate, water
quality, wetlands, fish and aquatic habitat, wildlife, land and water
use, socioeconomics and subsistence. The EBD is based primarily on
research collected between 2004 and 2008, although baseline data
collecting and monitoring of these environments continues today.
"The release of the EBD comes after one of the most exhaustive
environmental study programs in the history of US mineral development,"
said Northern Dynasty President & CEO Ron Thiessen. "This massive
investment in scientific research not only reflects PLP's commitment to
protect fish, water and other environmental values when developing the
Pebble Project; it also represents a significant asset to the Pebble
Partnership as it prepares to initiate permitting under the National
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)."
Thiessen said the data and analyses presented in the EBD will provide
critical information to its mine planners and engineers as PLP advances
a program to design and permit an environmentally sound, socially
responsible and financially robust project at Pebble. The Pebble
Partnership is currently working to complete a Prefeasibility Study and
initiate project permitting for the Pebble Project.
Research for the Pebble EBD was conducted by more than 40 respected
independent research firms, utilizing over 100 scientific experts and
engineering groups, laboratories and support services. Researchers were
selected for their specific areas of expertise and Alaskan experience,
with cooperating government agencies participating in several studies.
Information for the EBD was gathered through field studies, laboratory
tests, review of government records and other third-party sources, and
interviews with Alaska residents.
Traditionally, the compilation of environmental studies undertaken in
support of mine development in the United States is presented to
regulatory agencies as part of a broader permitting package, which
includes a Project Description. Given the importance of the Pebble
Project, PLP made the decision to share its EBD with project
stakeholders upon completion, in advance of project permitting.
Recognizing the vast amount of complex technical and scientific
information contained in the EBD, the Pebble Partnership is working
with the Keystone Center to undertake an independent science panel
process to review the baseline information gathered and to help
stakeholders understand the scope of the studies. The Keystone Center
will announce its schedule for independent science panel events planned
for 2012 in the near future.
"The Pebble EBD is a tremendous body of work for project stakeholders
and all Alaskans interested in gaining a greater understanding of the
natural, socioeconomic and cultural environment in southwest Alaska,"
Thiessen said. "The findings are also critical to our ongoing efforts
to define a responsible mine plan at Pebble that provides significant
benefits to the region, to the state and the country as a whole, while
protecting fish, water and other important natural resources."
The Pebble Partnership and many of the consultants who contributed to
the EBD presented summaries of their work to state and federal agencies
this month in Anchorage. Copies of the consultants' presentations are
available along with the complete Pebble EBD at www.pebbleresearch.com.
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. The project
is located 200 miles southwest of Anchorage on state land designated
through two public land use planning exercises for mineral exploration
and development. It is situated approximately 1,000 feet above
sea-level, 65 miles from tidewater on Cook Inlet and presents
favourable conditions for successful mine site and infrastructure
The Pebble Project consists of the Pebble deposit, surrounding mineral
claims and a stream of financing being provided by Northern Dynasty's
project partner Anglo American US (Pebble) LLC. The Pebble Partnership
was established in July 2007 as a 50:50 partnership between a
wholly-owned affiliate of Northern Dynasty and a wholly-owned
subsidiary of Anglo American plc. Both Northern Dynasty and Anglo
American have equal ownership and direction of the Pebble Partnership.
Under the terms of the Pebble Limited Partnership Agreement, Anglo
American is required to elect to commit $1.5 billion in staged
investments in order to retain its 50% interest in the Pebble Project.
Funds provided by Anglo American are currently being invested in
comprehensive exploration, engineering, environmental and socioeconomic
programs toward the future development of the Pebble Project.
About Northern Dynasty
Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. is a mineral exploration and development
company based in Vancouver, Canada, which holds indirect interests in
650 square miles of mineral claims in southwest Alaska, USA. Northern
Dynasty's principal asset is a 50% interest in the Pebble Partnership,
owner of the Pebble Copper-Gold-Molybdenum Project. The Pebble Project
is an advanced-stage initiative to develop one of the most important
mineral resources in the world.
Review Canadian public filings at www.sedar.com and US public filings at www.sec.gov.
Ronald W. Thiessen
President & CEO
No regulatory authority accepts responsibility for the adequacy or
accuracy of this release.
Northern Dynasty is solely and entirely responsible for the contents of
this news release. No other party, including any parties which have an
interest in the project, are in any way responsible for the contents
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, especially those that address
estimated resource quantities, grades and contained metals, are
forward-looking statements because they are generally made on the basis
of estimation and extrapolation from a limited number of drill holes
and metallurgical studies. Although diamond drill hole core provides
valuable information about the size, shape and geology of an
exploration project, there will always remain a significant degree of
uncertainty in connection with these valuation factors until a deposit
has been extensively drilled on closely spaced centers, which has
occurred only in specific areas on the Pebble Project. 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. 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 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.