Recent news regarding the development of the proposed Pebble mine includes a new deposit acquisition in Bristol Bay for Northern Dynasty Minerals, and a hearing over the public initiative “Bristol Bay Forever.”
State Supreme Court Hears Case to Remove Pebble Initiative From Ballot (APRN, June 11, 2014)
The “Bristol Bay Forever” initiative will appear on the November ballot unless the State Supreme Court reverses previous decisions upholding its certification as a valid issue to be put to the general public. This story describes a recent hearing in a court case that has gone on over the last eighteen months between the State of Alaska, which upholds the certification of the initiative, and the Alaska Miners Association and Council of Alaska Producers, who argue that the initiative is unconstitutional. The initiative, if passed, would require legislative approval of a project such as Pebble in Bristol Bay.
Northern Dynasty Accepts More Mining Claims Near Pebble (Bristol Bay Times, June 6, 2014)
Northern Dynasty Minerals, sole owner of the Pebble deposit, has acquired 294 mining claims near Pebble, in the Big Chunk “Super Project” gold and copper deposit. According to this report in the Bristol Bay Times, NDM purchased 95 claims from Liberty Star Uranium and Metals in 2010, and put another 199 claims up as collateral for a $3 million loan from NDM. Liberty Star was unable to repay the loan, and so the claims were transferred in mid-May of this year.
BBNC sells its donated Northern Dynasty stock (KDLG, June 15, 2014)
In April global mning corporation Rio Tinto donated its shares in Northern Dynasty Minerals, sole-owner of the Pebble prospect, to two Alaska non-profits: Bristol Bay Native Corporation Education Foundation and the Alaska Community Foundation. This story from KDLG radio reports that the Education Foundation, a separate organization from Bristol Bay Native Corporation, recently sold the Northern Dynasty stock for $6.4 million, with proceeds planned for scholarships and a cultural heritage program.
Dillingham to Murkowski: No Pebble Mine (Bristol Bay Times, June 6, 2014)
In a late-May visit to Dillingham, Senator Lisa Murkowski spoke to a group of more than 200 residents, many of whom signed up to speak. Those who got a chance expressed their concern about her co-sponsorship of Senate Bill 2156, which is aimed at limiting EPA’s 404(c) authority under the Clean Water Act.