February 2017

22 February 2017

New EPA Administrator receives request to rescind proposed restrictions on Pebble mine

smith-letterScott Pruitt is less than a week into his role as Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, but the Pebble project has already come across his desk. Today, Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the Chairman of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, sent Pruitt a letter congratulating him on his appointment and requesting that he rescind the EPA’s 2014 decision to use Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act pre-emptively to seek protections for Bristol Bay.

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17 February 2017

Report questions economics of Pebble project – rebuttal and potential lawsuits follow

After months of investment firms touting Northern Dynasty Minerals (NDM) stock as a good buy, Kerrisdale Capital Management bucked the trend with an in-your-face slam of Pebble stock as “worthless.” The small New York investment firm got quite a bit of attention for its report, which caused shares to fall dramatically on Tuesday before they began to move back upward. (NAK stock was around $3.29 per share on Monday morning before the report and ended Friday at $2.27, as shown in this graphic from Yahoo Finance).


Two events today might affect the stock further: NDM published a rebuttal to the article on its site, and Congress confirmed the appointment of Scott Pruitt as head of the EPA.

Pebble developers have been in litigation with EPA since 2014, after the EPA initiated a process to restrict certain mining activities at the Pebble deposit.  Developers believe that administrative changes at the agency will remove these obstacles, allowing it to attract an investor and move into a permitting phase this year.

KDLG radio interviewed Kerrisdale Capital’s Sahm Adrangi, who explained that the company’s model is to find companies they believe are “overhyped or overly promotional about their prospects,” to research them and then present “contrarian views.” In doing so, their goal is to make money as the stock price dips. According to the interview, Kerrisdale Capital became interested in researching the Pebble project when NDM stock started seeing quick gains after the November 2016 election.

Allegations in the Kerrisdale report – that NDM states are unfounded – include that the company is hiding a negative project assessment that reveals the project isn’t economically viable. Since these allegations, four different law firms have filed class-action lawsuits against NDM on behalf of investors, seeking recovery of damages for alleged violations of federal securities laws. Two other firms, on behalf of NDM shareholders, are investigating whether the company adequately disclosed the commercial sustainability of the deposit.

For its part, NDM says it will do what it needs to protect the interests of its shareholders, including regulatory and legal action related to the accusations in the Kerrisdale report.

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Northern Dynasty slams short-seller report as class-suit looms – Mining.com, February 17, 2017

Northern Dynasty Minerals mulls legal action against short-seller who called company ‘worthless’  FinancialPost.com, February 17, 2017

New York Hedge Fund Slams Northern Dynasty, Pebble Mine in investor report – KDLG radio, February 16, 2017

Report: Pebble shares are ‘worthless’ – Alaskajournal.com, February 15, 2017

Northern Dynasty Minerals Rebuttal

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07 February 2017

Pebble Watch News Roundup: February 7, 2017

Developers of the proposed Pebble mine predict favorable outcomes in their litigation with the EPA, and anticipate beginning the permitting process in 2017. Meanwhile, approval of a State of Alaska Miscellaneous Land Use Permit (MLUP) needed for activity at the site has been delayed, and state legislation has been filed to require additional legislative approval during the permitting process. 

“Mining News: Pebble Stars Align” Petroleum News, February 3, 2017

Shane Lasley reports on the Pebble project, its outlook under the new Trump administration, potential resolution with EPA, efforts to find new investors and move into a permitting stage.

“Legislation filed to require commissioner consensus on Pebble,” Juneau Empire, February 1, 2017

House Bill 14, introduced by Rep. Andy Josephson, D-Anchorage, aims at strengthening Ballot Measure 4, the “Bristol Bay Forever” initiative that requires legislative approval of large-scale metallic sulfide mines in the Bristol Bay Fisheries Reserve. Josephson’s bill, which requires legislative approval at each step of the permitting process, got its first hearing this week.

“Research matters: Pebble mine site jobs 2009-2012” Alaska Business Monthly, January 30, 2017

A report by the University of Alaska Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) by Bob Loeffler and Jennifer Schmidt takes a look at jobs and income associated with the Pebble project that Bristol Bay communities received between 2009-2012.

“Bristol Bay and Beyond,” KDLG Radio, Dillingham, January 27, 2017

KDLG’s Dave Bendinger interviews Pebble Limited Partnership CEO Tom Collier about plans for the project, as well as local leaders Kim Williams and Robin Samuelsen. The 15-minute Pebble story appears at 6 minutes, 35 seconds.

“Northern Dynasty Announces Closing Of US$37.444 Million Bought Deal Offering,” Northern Dynasty Minerals press release, January 26, 2017

Northern Dynasty Minerals, which owns 100% of the Pebble Limited Partnership, raised $37 million last week by selling 20.24 million shares of its stock. The proceeds will go toward its ongoing litigation with EPA, further environmental and engineering studies, outreach, general corporate purposes and working capital requirements.

“State Delays Renewal of Pebble Land Use Permit,” Alaskapublic.org, December 28, 2016

The Alaska State Department of Natural Resources is delaying renewal of a miscellaneous land-use permit (MLUP) because it wants to give staff more time to review “the breadth and scope of the complex issues raised” in a number of “substantive comments” it received during a public comment period in November.

In Opinion:

“Where will Northern Dynasty Minerals be in 10 Years?” by Maxx Chatsko, The Motley Fool, February 1, 2017

“Pebble project deserves fair review, assessment,” by Tom Collier, Alaska Dispatch News, January 24, 2017

“Pebble mine is still the wrong mine in the wrong place,” by Brian Kraft, Alaska Dispatch News, January 24, 2017

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