News Roundup: September 3, 2015

Recent news includes updates on President Obama’s visit to Bristol Bay, Pebble Partnership’s litigation against the EPA, Northern Dynasty’s fundraising and future plans, and Mount Polley/Animas River spill updates.

President Obama’s visit to Bristol Bay

In Dillingham, President Obama does Yup’ik dance, talks up wild Alaska salmon (September 2, 2015 – Alaska Dispatch News)

This article from Alaska Dispatch News includes several photos from President Obama’s visit to Dillingham, and an overview of what he got to see and do there.

Read the full story.

Obama heads to remote reaches of Alaska on last day of tour (September 2, 2015 – Reuters)

Obama visits the Nushagak River and speaks with Alannah Hurley of the United Tribes of Bristol Bay. Read the full story.

Battle over Bristol Bay pits Salmon against Gold (August 31, 2015 – NBC news)

This article summarizes the Pebble mine debate within the context of President Obama’s visit to Dillingham: “The showdown will be highlighted when President Barack Obama…visits the nearby city of Dillingham to talk to fisherman on Wednesday who are convinced the salmon fishery and the Pebble Mine — which could bring in an estimated $64

billion in economic contributions to the region — can’t coexist.” Read the full story.

Northern Dynasty Minerals

In August, Northern Dynasty Minerals announced it was planning to raise about US$15 million dollars by offering Special Warrants (to be converted to NDM shares) and by acquiring Cannon Point Resources, a small mineral exploration company. The acquisition of Cannon Point Resources was contingent on selling US$10 million Special Warrants, a goal NDM has since reached.

Bristol Bay and Beyond KDLG Radio Show (August 14, 2015 – KDLG, 10:03 minutes in)

A 5-minute interview between KDLG’s Dave Bendinger and Northern Dynasty Minerals Sean Magee begins about 10 minutes into this edition of the “Bristol Bay and Beyond” radio show. Magee tells Bendinger about Northern Dynasty’s recent business deal with Cannon Point Resources (acquiring about US$3.2 million in exchange for NDM shares). Magee emphasizes a company focus on fighting the EPA’s 404(c) process and finding a new investment partner – and he says there has been progress on both fronts. Listen to the interview.

Northern Dynasty’s last stand (August 13, 2015 – CEO.CA online)

This CEO.CA post gives insight into the motivations of the Cannon Point Resources investors, who are hoping for an “EPA compromise and a new JV partner” for Pebble.  Read the full story.

Northern Dynasty to raise up to $20 million in financing transactions (August 10, 2015 – MarketWatch)

Details about the agreement between Northern Dynasty Minerals and Cannon Point Resources.  Read the full story.


PLP-EPA litigation

Federal Judge orders former EPA scientist to testify in Pebble mine case (August 29, 2015 – Alaska Dispatch)

Pebble Limited Partnership asserts that an out-of-country EPA retiree is “uniquely situated to provide critical information” for its case asserting that the agency colluded with anti-mine activists while developing a watershed assessment of Bristol Bay. A federal judge agreed and has approved PLP’s request to force the employee back to the US to give testimony and provide documents. Read the full story.

EPA responds to subpoena request for former employee (August 28, 2015 – Bristol Bay Times)

EPA did not fight the subpoena request, but filed a response disagreeing with how PLP characterized the agency and its former employee.  Read the full story.

Spill-related news

Two recent mining waste spills – one from an active Canadian mine and the other from a long-shuttered mine in Colorado – provide insight into the complexities of handling mine waste both during and after mining operations.

EPA Gold King Mine spill page

An EPA contractor triggered a spill of about three million gallons of mine wastewater during an investigation of mine contamination at the Gold King Mine north of Silverton, Colorado. This site details the event and the ongoing spill response. Visit site.

Animas River trout deemed safe to eat after Colorado mine spill (September 2, 2015 – Denver Post)

Colorado health officials deem trout safe to eat, despite the high levels of contaminants released by the Gold King Mine wastewater spill earlier this month. Fish will continue to be tested to watch for higher concentrations of metals. Read the full story.

A River Runs Yellow (August 21, 2015 – The Atlantic)

Writer Richard Parker delves into the importance of trout to the local economy near Silverton and potential long-term effects the Gold King Mine spill may have fish health and habitat. Read the full story.

Mount Polley works toward full recovery (September 1, 2015 – The Williams Lake Tribune)

More than a year after the tailing storage facility breach at Mount Polley mine in British Columbia, mining operators look toward a partial restart of operations October 15, with a return to full operations in Spring 2016. Read the full story.