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Northern Dynasty gains on Pebble access accord

Near-insurmountable as the challenges ahead for Northern Dynasty Minerals’ (TSX:NDM) Pebble copper-gold project might seem, subsidiary Pebble Limited Partnership (PLP) is taking the small victories where it can.
Northern Dynasty gains on Pebble access accord Northern Dynasty gains on Pebble access accord Northern Dynasty gains on Pebble access accord Northern Dynasty gains on Pebble access accord Northern Dynasty gains on Pebble access accord

Staff Reporter

The PLP has finalised a right-of-way agreement with the Alaska Peninsula Corporation (APC) that secures the right to use defined portions of APC lands to build and operate roads for the prickly Pebble project.

The APC has about 900 shareholders, many who live in the nearby villages of Newhalen and Kokhanok.

"Today's agreement not only secures access to the Pebble project site for construction and operation of the proposed mine. It also represents a significant milestone in the developing relationship between Pebble and the Alaska Native people of the region," Northern Dynasty CEO Ron Thiessen said.

The company said the APC lands addressed in the right-of-way agreement mirrored the transportation corridor laid out in PLP's project description, as submitted to the US Army Corps of Engineers late last year that kicked off the federal environmental impact statement (EIS) permitting process.

It includes land south of Lake Iliamna to link a port site on Cook Inlet to a ferry landing site west of the APC village of Kohkanok, as well as land north of Lake Iliamna to link a ferry landing site west of the APC village of Newhalen to the site of the proposed Pebble mine.

PLP transportation infrastructure is expected to benefit the APC, its shareholders and villages through access to lower cost electricity, equipment and supplies, as well as enhanced economic activity in the region. Spur roads connecting to the villages of Newhalen and Kokhanok will allow residents to access jobs at the Pebble mine site, port site and ferry landing sites.

The PLP has committed to make annual toll payments to the APC for the proposed roads and pay certain other fees before and during project construction and operation.

The PLP also said the APC was granted 'preferred contractor' status at Pebble, which provided a preferential opportunity to bid on Pebble-related contracts located on APC lands.

The two parties have also agreed to negotiate a profit-sharing agreement that will ensure APC and its shareholders benefit directly from the profits generated by mining activity in the region.

Vancouver-based Northern Dynasty closed 10% or C9c higher Tuesday at 99c, having previously peaked at a 12-month high of $2.99. The market value is $309.52 million.