Northern Dynasty unveils Pebble ESG report
Detailing 20 years of advancing controversial copper project North of 60 Mining News – April 30, 2021
Last updated 5/6/2021 at 3:57pm
Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. April 27 announced the publication of an environmental, social & governance report that outlines its 20-year commitment to environmentally sound and socially responsible development of the proposed Pebble copper-gold-molybdenum-silver-rhenium mine project in Southwest Alaska.
"This ESG report is an effort to explain simply and directly, without embellishment, what NDM (Northern Dynasty Minerals) and PLP (Pebble Limited Partnership) have done in the years 2001 to 2020 to advance the Pebble project in an environmentally sound and socially/corporately responsible way," said Northern Dynasty Minerals President and CEO Ron Thiessen "We do not expect to convince readers based on this document alone that the Pebble deposit can or should be developed. Rather, the intent is to contribute to a more informed and balanced dialogue about the proposed Pebble Mine and the future of the Pebble project by facilitating greater understanding of its past."
This look back over the past two decades at Pebble includes a discussion on why Pebble is so contentious, and the steps Northern Dynasty and its United States subsidiary Pebble Partnership have taken to address the environmental and social concerns.
"For many reasons – including the Pebble deposit's size and significance, its location in a vast region that supports world-class fisheries, and the active campaigning of national environmental organizations – the progress of the Pebble project has been marked by public controversy and rhetoric," said Thiessen. "It's unfortunate because so much of the good work done to plan, permit, develop and operate a modern copper mine at Pebble that would, in many ways, set a new standard for responsible mineral development in the United States has been obscured."
This work resulted in the Pebble Partnership submitting permit applications for a mine expected to produce 5.74 billion pounds of copper, 6.4 million ounces of gold, 260 million lb of molybdenum, and 32 million oz of silver over a 20-year mine life.
Goldman Sachs recently declared copper as the new oil due to its importance to the global transition to renewable energy and electric mobility, along with the lack of enough copper projects to meet forecast demand.
In July of last year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published a final environmental impact statement for Pebble that found the proposed mine would not have a measurable impact on local fish populations or the commercial, subsistence, and sport fisheries that depend on them, and would make a significant socioeconomic contribution to the Bristol Bay region, Alaska, and the country.
Despite EIS findings and strategic importance of the copper that could be produced at Pebble, the Army Corps issued a negative record of decision, which prevents the project from receiving the major federal permit for mine development.
The Pebble Partnership is appealing the record of decision based on it being contrary to law, unprecedented in Alaska, and inconsistent with the findings in the final EIS.
Northern Dynasty's ESG report provides details of the two decades of work to advance Pebble in an environmentally and socially responsible way.
"We believe we have proposed a project of considerable merit - one that demonstrably meets the high environmental standards enforced in Alaska and the United States and will make a profound contribution to the state's economy and the country's transition to a lower-carbon future through the production of domestic copper," Thiessen said. "The ESG report published today is another step along the path of demonstrating that Pebble can be part of the solution to a more sustainable future."
The 46-page Pebble ESG report can be read at: https://northerndynastyminerals.com/site/assets/files/4911/ndm_esg_-_2021-04-26.pdf