Shares of Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. (TSX: T.NDM, Stock Forum) were down after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a report on May 18, writes Canaccord Wealth Management in its Morning Coffee report.
As noted by Canaccord, the report assessed the Bristol Bay watershed’s natural resources and the economic benefits associated with those resources, including the largest undisturbed wild sockeye salmon run in the world. Bristol Bay is in southwestern Alaska.
The report concluded that there is the potential for certain activities associated with large-scale mining to have adverse impacts on the productivity and sustainability of the salmon fishery in the watershed. Potential impacts could include loss of habitat used for salmon spawning and rearing.
The assessment, when finalized following the important public comment and independent peer review, could help inform future decisions on any large-scale mining in Bristol Bay by both federal and non-federal decision-makers, Canaccord writes.
NDM CEO Ron Thiessen was not happy with the report and noted, "To suggest that the EPA over a course of a single year can meaningfully study a region of some 20,000 square miles and assess the effects of a project for, which a final design is not yet complete, and for which key environmental mitigation strategies are yet being developed, is pure hubris.
We have every expectation that the deep flaws in the draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment report will be exposed during the scientific peer review and public comment processes to come over the next several months."
The Pebble project is one of the largest undeveloped mineral resources in the world. NDM’s last resource estimate includes 5.94 billion tonnes in the Measured and Indicated category containing 55 billion pounds of copper, 67 million ounces of gold and 3.3 billion pounds of molybdenum.
Along with 4.84 billion tonnes in the Inferred category, containing 26 billion pounds of copper, 40 million ounces of gold and 2.3 billion pounds of molybdenum.
Down 3.5% on Wednesday, Northern Dynasty has a market cap of $238.4 million, based on 95 million shares outstanding. The 52-week range is $12.70 and $2.60.