Northern Dynasty: Court Defers Ruling on EPA Statutory Authority
September 26, 2014 Vancouver, BC - Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. (TSX: NDM; NYSE MKT: NAK) ("Northern Dynasty" or the "Company") reports that U.S. federal court in Alaska today granted a motion to dismiss the case by the Pebble Limited Partnership, State of Alaska and Alaska Peninsula Corporation challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") statutory authority to pre-emptively impose development restrictions on the Pebble Project prior to the submission of a proposed development plan. This ruling did not judge the merits of the statutory authority case, it only deferred that hearing and judgment until after a final determination has been made by the EPA.
"The ruling today relates to timing of our challenge of this pre-emptive authority and in no way decides the underlying issues," said Pebble Partnership CEO Tom Collier. "We remain very confident in the merits of this case. Should EPA finalize its proposed veto restrictions regarding Pebble, we will pursue our claim that EPA lacks statutory authority to do so at that time."
Northern Dynasty's CEO Ron Thiessen stated, "Today's ruling has nothing to do with the merits or legality of our position in this case, and is merely a decision on timing. The court is, in essence, saying until the EPA makes a final decision you haven't been affected. As Tom Collier CEO of Pebble Partnership points out, this decision has simply deferred the case until or if the EPA makes a negative decision on Pebble Project prior to our filing a permit under the Clean Water Act."
The Pebble Partnership has a second case pending in the federal court in Alaska that charges that EPA has not complied with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) in preparing the Bristol Bay Assessment study, upon which the Section 404(c) regulatory process is largely based. The FACA case seeks to enjoin EPA from issuing its final veto. Today's ruling has no bearing on the FACA case.
About the Pebble Project
The Pebble Project is an initiative of the Pebble Limited Partnership to responsibly develop a globally significant copper, gold and molybdenum deposit in southwest Alaska into a modern, long-life mine, which will benefit not only the owner, but the people, culture and industries of the State of Alaska, as well as suppliers, consultants and industries in the Lower 48 United States of America.
A 2013 study authored by IHS Global Insight, entitled The Economic and Employment Contributions of a Conceptual Pebble Mine to the Alaska and United States Economies found the Pebble Project has the potential to support 15,000 American jobs and contribute more than $2.5 billion annually to US GDP over decades of production. The IHS Global Insight study is available at www.northerndynasty.com.
The Pebble Project is located 200 miles southwest of Anchorage on state land designated for mineral exploration and development. It is situated in a region of rolling tundra 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.
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 advanced-stage initiative to develop one of the world's most important mineral resources.
For further details on Northern Dynasty and the Pebble Project, please visit the Company's website at www.northerndynasty.com or contact Investor services at (604) 684-6365 or within North America at 1-800-667-2114. Review Canadian public filings at www.sedar.com and US public filings at www.sec.gov.
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 open pit and underground workings 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 annual Form 40-F filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and its home jurisdiction filings that are available at www.sedar.com.