VANCOUVER, Oct. 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. (TSX: NDM; NYSE MKT: NAK) ("Northern Dynasty" or the "Company") announces that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Alaska-based Pebble Limited Partnership ("Pebble Partnership" or "PLP") and the US Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") have filed a joint Notice in federal court stating their intent to enter into mediation in an effort to resolve ongoing litigation under the Federal Advisory Committee Act ("FACA").
In September 2014, the Pebble Partnership initiated an action in federal district court in Alaska, alleging that EPA violated FACA by its close interactions with, and the undue influence of, Environmental Non-Government Organizations ("ENGOs") and anti-mine activists in developing the Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment, and its unprecedented, pre-emptive regulatory action under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act. In November 2014, a federal court judge granted PLP's request for a preliminary injunction in the FACA case, prohibiting EPA from taking any further steps toward finalizing its 404(c) regulatory action, and signaling that PLP's case had a likelihood of succeeding on its merits.
While discovery and other preparations for court proceedings in the FACA litigation will continue, the joint Notice filed in federal court indicates the willingness of both parties to work toward a negotiated resolution to the current impasse.
"Northern Dynasty and EPA share a strong conviction that any mine developed at Pebble must meet the highest environmental standards, and protect the fisheries resources of southwest Alaska, or it should not be permitted," said Ron Thiessen, President & CEO. "We are optimistic that a resolution can now be found through mediation that will allow Pebble to propose a development plan for the project, and advance into the federal and state permitting process."
Selection of a mediator will be undertaken jointly by EPA and the Pebble Partnership, with mediation talks expected to begin in Washington DC this fall.
About Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd.
Northern Dynasty is a mineral exploration and development company based in Vancouver, Canada. Northern Dynasty's principal asset is the Pebble Project in southwest Alaska, USA, an initiative to develop one of the world's most important mineral resources.
Ronald W. Thiessen
President & CEO
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, that address exploration drilling, exploitation activities and events or developments that the Company expects are forward-looking statements. 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 or the outcome of litigation. Assumptions used by the Company to develop forward-looking statements include the following: the Pebble Project will obtain all required environmental and other permits and all land use and other licenses, studies and development of the Pebble Project will continue to be positive, and no geological or technical problems will occur. 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, approvals, licenses and title on a timely basis and delays due to third party opposition, changes in government policies regarding mining and natural resource exploration and exploitation, the final outcome of any litigation, completion of pre-feasibility and final feasibility studies, preparation of all necessary engineering for surface or underground mining 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 filings 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.