North of 60 Mining News - The mining newspaper for Alaska and Canada's North

Pebble Partnership copper gold molybdenum mine project Alaska Northern Dynasty NAK NDM

By Steve Sutherlin
Mining News Associate Editor 

Pebble power plan

Homer Electric and Northern Dynasty to assess feasibility of phased power development plan for Pebble gold mine


Last updated 1/30/2005 at Noon

Homer Electric Association and Northern Dynasty Mines Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd., will conduct a joint initiative to review the feasibility of a phased power development plan for the Pebble gold-copper-molybdenum deposit near Iliamna in southwestern Alaska.

The association and the company agreed to jointly assess the technical, economic and environmental feasibility of a phased development approach for delivery of electrical power to construct and operate an open pit mine at Pebble, Northern Dynasty said in a Jan. 11 statement.

In a phased approach, timely delivery of approximately 100 megawatts of power for the efficient start-up of the mine will precede additional power delivery capacity to accommodate the company's anticipated milling rate of as much as 200,000 tonnes per day. The results of the power review will be added to the feasibility study of the Pebble project, targeted for completion later in 2005.

Two-stage development plan

The power development plan has two stages. Stage one would connect the mine to the Railbelt electrical grid using one of two possible routes - 210 miles of overland transmission line or 45 miles of submarine cable across Cook Inlet linked to 70 miles of overland transmission line. Stage two calls for construction of additional generation facilities by Homer Electric Association, using the best available technology. The generation capacity would be optimized to the needs of the association's members - including the Pebble mine, and allow for the future growth of power needs on the Railbelt grid, the company said.

The company said local villages and other consumers in the project area could likely also be connected to the proposed extension. The company and the utility plan to expand their discussions with local communities this year to determine the best approach for the supply of power to Pebble and its neighbors in the region. Project start-up is subject to completion of the overall feasibility study, permitting, financing and detailed engineering.

The company said numerous benefits would accrue through the ability to plan for grid expansions and additional power generation in a cost-effective manner that accommodates existing consumers as well as new consumers. The end result, the company said, could be a more stable, efficient system with lower cost electricity available to all Railbelt customers.


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