State of Alaska
If enacted, the initiative would be preempted by state law
Oct. 18, 2011
/PRNewswire/ - By a narrow 280 - 246 (53 - 47%) margin, voters in
Lake & Peninsula Borough have supported a ballot measure that, if upheld by the courts, would restrict future development that affects more than one square mile of land within the 31,000 square mile borough. The Pebble Limited Partnership (the "Pebble Partnership" or "PLP") and the
State of Alaska
view the initiative sponsored by anti-Pebble activists as unconstitutional and unenforceable because it seeks to restrict development of state-owned resources on state lands through a municipal ordinance, and will challenge it in
"Given the ballot measure's misleading language, in particular its seeming focus on protecting salmon, it's not surprising that it was supported by a slim majority of Lake & Peninsula Borough voters," said
, President & CEO of Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. ("Northern Dynasty") (TSX: NDM) (NYSE Amex: NAK). "Certainly Northern Dynasty and the Pebble Partnership are wholly committed to preserving and even enhancing the fisheries resources of
. Unfortunately, this initiative would also halt economic development throughout the Lake & Peninsula Borough, and represents yet another misuse of
democratic processes by paid opponents of the Pebble Project, whose goal is to stop the project before it receives comprehensive and objective review by federal and state regulators.
"What's most important is that the rule of law in
the United States
is clear and reliable, such that this unconstitutional attempt by narrow self-interests to restrict economic development in a region the size of
will not stand. We believe the
State of Alaska's
constitutional obligation to manage natural resources on its land for the benefit of all Alaskans will ultimately be acknowledged by the courts."
November 7, 2011
, the Alaska Superior Court will begin proceedings to consider the constitutionality of the Lake & Peninsula Borough ordinance. In addition to PLP and the
State of Alaska
, the initiative is opposed by a broad spectrum of
interests, including a group of four Alaska Native village corporations representing seven Lake & Peninsula Borough communities whose private land holdings would be affected by the ordinance. It is also opposed by the Resource Development Council for
, the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce, the Alaska Miners Association, Council of Alaska Producers, the
Oil and Gas Association, Alaska Industry Support Alliance, among others.
In a previous legal filing with
Supreme Court, the
State of Alaska
stated that "
the initiative would enact an ordinance that is unenforceable as a matter of law
…" and "
will inevitably conflict with, and be preempted by, state law
." The state's legal brief also notes: "
The Alaska Constitution provides that the state has the policy of encouraging the development of resources by making them available for maximum use consistent with the public interest
Thiessen said the Pebble Partnership will continue to invest in the
State of Alaska
with the goal of finalizing a Prefeasibility Study for the Pebble Project and initiating federal and state permitting under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in late 2012. He said PLP's legal challenge of the borough ordinance will advance in parallel with efforts to design an environmentally sound and socially responsible project that co-exists with clean water, healthy fisheries and traditional ways of life in
"The Pebble Project has the potential to create substantial economic and social benefits for the people of
for decades to come, in a way that enhances commercial and subsistence fisheries and ensures the long-term sustainability of Alaska Native culture," he said. "Pebble simply has too much potential for the region and the state to allow special interests to forestall its development before an optimized mine plan is proposed for the consideration of federal and state regulators and the people of
About the Pebble Project
The Pebble Project is an initiative of the Pebble Partnership to responsibly develop a globally significant copper, gold and molybdenum deposit in southwest
into a modern, long-life mine. The project is located 200 miles southwest of
on state land designated through two public land use planning exercises for mineral exploration and development. It is situated approximately 1,000 feet above sea-level, 65 miles from tidewater on Cook Inlet and presents favourable conditions for successful mine site and infrastructure development.
The Pebble Project consists of the Pebble deposit, surrounding mineral claims and a stream of financing provided by Northern Dynasty's project partner Anglo American US
(Pebble) LLC. The Pebble Partnership was established in
as a 50:50 partnership between a wholly-owned affiliate of Northern Dynasty and a wholly-owned subsidiary of
plc. Both Northern Dynasty and
have equal rights of management, operatorship and control in the Pebble Partnership.
Under the terms of the Pebble Limited Partnership Agreement,
is required to elect to commit
in staged investments in order to retain its 50% interest in the Pebble Project. Funds provided by
are currently being invested in comprehensive exploration, engineering, environmental and socioeconomic programs toward the future development of the Pebble Project.
About Northern Dynasty
Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. is a mineral exploration and development company based in
, which holds indirect interests in 650 square miles of mineral claims in southwest
. Northern Dynasty's principal asset is a 50% interest in the Pebble Partnership, owner of the Pebble Copper-Gold-Molybdenum Project. The Pebble Project is an advanced-stage initiative to develop one of the most important mineral resources in the world.
Ronald W. Thiessen
President & CEO
No regulatory authority accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. Northern Dynasty is solely and entirely responsible for the contents of this news release. No other party, including any parties which have an interest in the project, are in any way responsible for the contents hereof.