Wardrop completes independent Preliminary Assessment report based on concept, pre-feasibility and feasibility-level study programs completed by Pebble Partnership and Northern Dynasty Preliminary Assessment describes and assigns potential economic value to three mine development cases comprising 25, 45 and 78 years of open pit mining and a nominal processing rate of 200,000 tons per day For the Pebble Project, the 45-year Reference Case yields a 14.2% pre-tax IRR, a 6.2-year payback on initial capital investment of $4.7 billion and a $6.1 billion pre-tax NPV at a 7% discount rate and long-term metal prices. At current prevailing metal prices, the 45-year Reference Case yields a 23.2% pre-tax IRR, a 3.2-year payback on initial capital investment and a $15.7 billion pre-tax NPV at a 7% discount rate For Northern Dynasty's 50% share of the project, the 45-year Reference Case yields an 18% pre-tax and 15.4% post-tax IRR, a 4.7-year pre-tax and 5.3-year post-tax payback on initial capital investment and a $3.6 billion pre-tax and $2.4 billion post-tax NPV at a 7% discount rate and long-term metal prices. At current prevailing metal prices, the 45-year Reference Case yields a 30.2% pre-tax and 25.1% post-tax IRR, a 2.6-year pre-tax and 3.1-year post-tax payback on initial capital investment and an $8.3 billion pre-tax and $5.6 billion post-tax NPV at a 7% discount rate for Northern Dynasty's 50% interest The 45-year Reference Case produces 31 B lb copper, 30 M oz gold, 1.4 B lb molybdenum, 140 M oz silver, 1.2 M kg rhenium and 907,000 oz palladium while mining only 32% of the mineral resource For the 45-year Reference Case, cash costs per payable lb of copper after by-product credits total -$0.11VANCOUVER, Feb. 23 /PRNewswire/ - A National Instrument 43-101-compliant Technical Report on a Preliminary Assessment of the Pebble Copper-Gold-Molybdenum Project (the "Pebble Project") in southwest Alaska, completed for Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. (TSX: NDM; NYSE Amex: NAK) by Wardrop, a Tetra Tech Company ("Wardrop"), confirms that Pebble is an economically robust project with the potential to become one of the most important metal producers of the 21st century. The Preliminary Assessment updates and substantially revises project economic analysis last done by Northern Dynasty in 2004, and so constitutes a material change for which a material change report containing the full executive summary will be shortly filed at www.sedar.com and at www.northerndynasty.com, along with a complete copy of the Technical Report. The Preliminary Assessment is based on Wardrop's comprehensive review of recent engineering and technical studies undertaken principally by the Pebble Limited Partnership (the "Pebble Partnership") and by Northern Dynasty. The economic assessments and other opinions expressed in the Preliminary Assessment are strictly those of Northern Dynasty and Wardrop, and do not reflect the views of any other stakeholder in the project. The Pebble Partnership continues to separately undertake detailed engineering studies toward the completion of a Prefeasibility Report for the Pebble Project as contemplated by the 2007 Limited Partnership Agreement, including ongoing programs to engage project stakeholders in the planning process. As such, any project which is ultimately put forward by the Pebble Partnership for permitting under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) may differ from those mine models presented in the Preliminary Assessment.