Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd (NYSEMKT:NAK) Files Joint Motion with EPA Discussions

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Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd (NYSEMKT:NAK) shares rose 16.30% on Monday to $1.57 and an additional 3.18% in after-hours trading. Share prices have been trading in a 52-week range of $0.28 to $3.45. The company has a market cap of $492.8 million at 291.11 million shares outstanding.

Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd is a mineral exploration company that holds interest in mining claims on State of Alaska land in southwest Alaska, the United States, which are part of the Pebble Copper-Gold-Molybdenum Project through its subsidiaries.

The Pebble Project is located in southwest Alaska, approximately 20 miles from the villages of Iliamna and Newhalen, and over 200 miles (approximately 320 kilometers) southwest of the city of Anchorage. The property consists of approximately 2,400 mineral claims and is situated over 1,000 feet above sea-level and approximately 60 miles from tidewater on Cook Inlet. The company is in the process of exploring and developing the Pebble Project.

In a press release, Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Alaska-based Pebble Limited Partnership and the US Environmental Protection Agency have filed a Joint Motion in federal court to extend a stay of proceedings in ongoing litigation under the Federal Advisory Committee Act to May 4, 2017.

Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd shared that it has made substantial progress in recent discussions with the EPA and intends to continue negotiating the matter directly, rather than through mediation. The Pebble Partnership and government representatives are actively engaged in discussions that are focused on achieving a resolution that will be agreeable to both parties.

Active discussions between all parties involved have been positive and very constructive,” said Tom Collier, CEO of the Pebble Partnership. “We remain confident in achieving a prompt and fair resolution that follows the rule of law, supports the interests of the parties involved and allows the Pebble Project to move into a normal course permitting process.”

Last month, in a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Committee Chairman Lamar Smith stated:

The Committee recommends that the incoming Administration rescind the EPA’s proposed determination to use Section 404(c) in a pre-emptive fashion for the Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska.  This simple action will allow a return to the long-established Clean Water Act permitting process and stop attempts by the EPA to improperly expand its authority.  Moreover, it will create regulatory certainty for future development projects that will create jobs and contribute to the American economy.”

Recall that the company previously announced that the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Science, Space and Technology “has called on the new Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency (‘EPA’) to rescind the federal agency’s 2014 regulatory action under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act to pre-emptively veto Alaska’s Pebble Project.”

According to Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd, this can return the Pebble Project to normal course and allow them to come up with a comprehensive development plan. Note, however, that this doesn’t guarantee approval of the project. Price still popped higher upon seeing this news and is on a new leg up following the latest update.

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