Mr. Ron Thiessen reports
NORTHERN DYNASTY: COMPENSATORY MITIGATION PLAN FOR ALASKA'S PEBBLE PROJECT SUBMITTED TO US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS
Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd.'s 100-per-cent-owned U.S.-based subsidiary Pebble Limited Partnership has submitted a compensatory mitigation plan for the Pebble project to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ahead of the 90-day deadline that expires on Nov. 18, 2020.
Northern Dynasty and the Pebble partnership believe the submitted CMP fully satisfies mitigation requirements for the proposed copper-gold-molybdenum-silver-rhenium mine in southwest Alaska.
Following publication of a positive final environmental impact statement in July, 2020, the USACE published its mitigation requirements for Pebble on Aug. 20, 2020, and provided the Pebble partnership with 90 days to submit a CMP to address them. Filing an approved CMP for the project is a necessary prerequisite to receiving a federal record of decision.
"The 'in-kind' and 'in-watershed' requirement for mitigation the USACE established for Pebble clearly sets a high bar for offsetting project effects on wetlands and other aquatic features, but it's a challenge we have embraced and believe we can achieve," said Ron Thiessen, Northern Dynasty president and chief executive officer.
"Based on the findings of the final EIS, we already know Pebble can operate safely and reliably, while fully protecting the water, fish and wildlife resources of Bristol Bay. Meeting the USACE's challenging mitigation requirements provides even greater evidence that Pebble can and will co-exist with commercial, subsistence and sport fisheries in southwest Alaska."
In addition to meeting the rigorous environmental standards enforced in the Clean Water Act and other U.S. federal legislation, Mr. Thiessen said the final EIS for Pebble indicates the project will make important, positive socio-economic contributions to the region, the state and the nation.
"Pebble will also deliver the critical and strategic minerals the United States requires for its economic and military security," he said, "while helping facilitate the transition to a lower carbon future."
Mr. Thiessen said Pebble partnership technical/permitting staff and expert, third party consultants in Alaska have prepared a high-quality mitigation plan to fully satisfy the lead federal agencies' requirements -- including undertaking extensive field investigations this summer and fall. He cautioned Pebble won't be releasing any details about the CMP until it is accepted by the USACE and posted to its website.
"We have an experienced team in Alaska that has identified both the means and mechanism to meet the 'in-kind' and 'in watershed' mitigation requirements, and complete a CMP that we believe will be acceptable to the USACE in form and content," he said. "Until this work is completed to the corps' full satisfaction, we won't be discussing the details of our plan."
There is no statutory timeline for the USACE's review of the Pebble CMP. Northern Dynasty's current expectation is that its sufficiency will be confirmed prior to or concurrent with issuance of a final record of decision.
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 U.S. subsidiary, Pebble Limited Partnership, is a 100-per-cent interest in a contiguous block of 2,402 mineral claims in southwest Alaska, including the Pebble deposit. PLP is the proponent of the Pebble project, an initiative to develop one of the world's most important mineral resources.
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