A decision by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could pave the way for Northern Dynasty Minerals’ (TSX:NDM) vast but stalled Pebble copper-gold-silver project in Alaska The EPA proposed late Tuesday (July 11) revoking a 2014 ruling that bans large-scale mining in the area over the potential risks to one of the planet’s greatest wild salmon fisheries.
The federal agency noted it would accept public comments on the proposal for the next 90 days before making a final decision. The move follows a key settlement reached in May between the EPA and Northern Dynasty that ended a long-dragged dispute over the agency’s decision to block construction of the Pebble mine. It also comes exactly three months after Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) granted Northern Dynasty’s subsidiary — Pebble Limited Partnership — a long-awaited land-use permit. Investors reacted positively to the news, pushing the stock up 2.67% to $1.92 in Toronto at 10:54 a.m. local time. But opponents to the project were not that thrilled.
“The facts haven’t changed. The science hasn’t changed. The opposition hasn’t changed,” wrote Taryn Kiekow Heimer, senior policy analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council, which has opposed the project for years. “The fact that it’s the wrong mine in the wrong place hasn’t changed. But the politics have changed.” “Instead of putting America first, it puts us dead last — behind the interests of a foreign mining company,” she argues.