In response, the Pebble Partnership filed three lawsuits against the EPA, with one in particular alleging that the agency did not operate according to the requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). Pebble has said that the EPA didn't conduct its business in an open manner, and reiterated claims in Tuesday's release that the agency colluded with environmental activists with the aim of bringing about predetermined results without properly undertaking scientific inquiry.Procedural victories To be sure, the ruling marks a major development for the project. Though Collier noted that "the decision is a procedural victory and does not resolve our claims that EPA pursued a biased and predetermined 404c veto initiative against Pebble," he nevertheless stressed its importance. "[F]or first time, EPA's march to preemptively veto Pebble has been halted," he said. That's because under the injunction, the EPA won't be able to take further action in the 404(c) process until Judge Holland makes a decision on the merits of Pebble's FACA case — which could take several months. For its part, the EPA is hoping that won't be the case. Jennifer Colaizzi, an agency spokeswoman, said in a statement to Bloomberg, "[t]he "EPA hopes the litigation is resolved expeditiously so the agency can move forward with its regulatory decision-making." Still, Northern Dynasty president and CEO Ron Thiessen said the company is "heartenened" by the ruling in Pebble's favor, and that the company looks forward to the opportunity to argue the merits of its case in court. Moving forward Sean Magee, a spokesman for the Pebble Partnership, reiterated the positive sentiment regarding the injunction to Copper Investing News. "We are looking to conclude the process with the EPA in such a way that we can move forward with permitting, unencumbered by preemptive development restrictions. Today's ruling is certainly a major milestone in that regard," he said.
Magee also said that the company is looking for a funding partner to help it move forward with the Pebble project.Whether the company will be successful in those endeavours remains to be seen, but today's news certainly suggests that procedural delays implemented by regulatory bodies do not necessarily mean a nail in the coffin for mining projects. Investors will no doubt be keeping an eye out to see how the Pebble Partnership's case against the EPA progresses. Securities Disclosure: I, Teresa Matich, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article. Preliminary Injunction Halts EPA Process at Northern Dynasty's Pebble Mine from Copper Investing News