U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., has called for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate Northern Dynasty Minerals (NDM) for what she calls “contradictory statements” about a preliminary assessment of the economic feasibility of the proposed Pebble mine that NDM filed with the SEC in February 2011.
The 529-page preliminary assessment, also called the “Wardrop Report,” gives insight into some preliminary plans for Pebble’s development. The study includes information on mining types (open pit and underground); infrastructure needs such as port site, access roads, warehouses and water systems; and tailings impoundment design.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in drafting its Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment, relied on content from the Wardrop Report as a basis for the “hypothetical mine scenario” it used to assess risks of large-scale mining in Bristol Bay. According to Sen. Cantwell, NDM later referenced the report as a “fantasy proposal” in official testimony to the EPA, leading her to conclude that NDM is saying one thing to investors and another to the EPA.