Canada-based Northern Dynasty has re-acquired the 100% stake of the Pebble copper project in Alaska, US, following Anglo American’s decision to withdraw from the Pebble Limited Partnership (PLP).
This year AA Pebble, the US subsidiary of Anglo American, decided to withdraw from the project. It is situated in the Bristol Bay region of south-west Alaska, about 200 miles from Anchorage.
AA Pebble had invested around $540m in the Pebble project up to June 2013 and now faces a $300m penalty for withdrawing.
Northern Dynasty president and CEO Ronald Thiessen said: "During the course of the last six years and at a cost of $556m (as of September 30, 2013), substantial progress has been made toward our goal of permitting, constructing and operating a world-class, modern and environmentally responsible mine at Pebble that will co-exist with the fisheries resources of south-west Alaska."
Thiessen said Northern Dynasty is now in a position to trigger federal and state permitting under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in the first quarter of 2014.
He added that the company’s current focus is to consolidate all of the technical data, engineering work and permitting documentation related to Pebble into a data room, with the goal of qualifying and securing a new partner in 2014.
Northern Dynasty expects to make a final decision on permit filing in 2014.
A study by IHS Global Insight found that the project’s decades of production have the potential to support 15,000 American jobs and contribute more than $2.5bn annually to US GDP.