Trump win brings confidence in Alaskan pebble project
A small Canadian miner is confident Donald Trump’s U.S. presidential win will let it proceed with an application for a copper and gold mine in Alaska that has been stalled almost three years by environmental regulators aiming to protect the world’s biggest sockeye salmon fishery.
Ronald Thiessen, chief executive officer and president of Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd, told Reuters that he expected the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to announce in the first quarter of 2017 that it will let the application process proceed for the controversial project.
He said the company has held discussions with Trump’s transition team, including Myron Ebell, who heads the EPA transition.
The president elect Donald Trump takes office on Jan. 20.
What is the Pebble project?
Dubbed “one of the greatest stores of mineral wealth ever discovered”, the current resource estimate at the Pebble deposit includes around 6.44 billion tonnes, divided up into 57 billion Ib copper, 70 million oz gold, 3.4 billion lb of molybdenum and 344 million oz silver.
The Pebble Project looks to develop a globally significant deposit of copper, gold, molybdenum and silver into a modern mining location.
Located on the land that the State of Alaska secured during the Cook Inlet Land Exchange of 1974 — a three-way land swap involving the federal government, the state and the Cook Inlet Region Inc. (CIRI), an Alaska native regional corporation. The State of Alaska secured land including what is now Pebble, explicitly for its mineral potential.
Northern Dynasty Minerals identifies four key project strengths:
- a mineral resource with the tonnes, grade, metallurgy and geometry to potentially support a modern, long-life mine;
- one of the most extensive environmental databases ever assembled for a resource development project in America;
- a stable and predictable regulatory environment in Alaska and the US; and
- broad public support for responsible resource development in Alaska.