Northern Dynasty Minerals’ wholly-owned US-based subsidiary, Pebble Limited Partnership, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop a consortium of Alaska Native village corporations as a major transportation contractor for the Pebble copper-gold-molybdenum project.
The MoU, signed this week with Alaska Peninsula Corporation (APC), positions APC to lead the development of a consortium of Alaska Native village corporations with land holdings along Pebble’s 82 mile (131 km) access route north of Lake Iliamna.
Once formalised, the consortium will provide various services to the future Pebble mine, with the contracts expected to exceed $20 million in value each year, according to Northern Dynasty.
The Pebble Partnership said the consortium would operate all related logistics for the project related to the proposed northern transportation corridor.
This would include managing port operations, maintaining the access road between the Pebble port and the Pebble mine site, and providing trucking and other logistics services between the two.
“The operation of this logistics chain is critical to the successful development of the Pebble project and this MoU is evidence of the strong support these village corporations have provided to Pebble over the past few years,” the Pebble Partnership said.
Ron Thiessen, Northern Dynasty President & CEO, said: “It has always been a core commitment of ours and the Pebble Partnership’s that this project benefit local communities and local people.
“As we move toward a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) this month and a Record of Decision later this summer, we are rolling out a series of programs and announcements to bring that commitment to life.”
Thiessen said the lead federal agency for Pebble’s permitting process, the US Army Corps of Engineers, has now signalled the Final EIS will be published later this month.
In the run-up to this milestone, the Pebble Partnership has announced the Pebble Performance Dividend initiative to distribute a 3% net profit royalty interest in the future Pebble mine to full-time residents of Bristol Bay, the initiation of a public consultation process for power sharing in the region, and now the formation of a major local contracting consortium.
Other benefits Pebble is expected to generate for the people of Bristol Bay and Alaska, according to Northern Dynasty, include:
- Between 850-1,000 full-time, direct high-wage jobs and as many as 2,000 total jobs;
- Up to $400 million annually in mine expenditures;
- More than $50 million annually in state government revenues; and
- Up to $20 million annually in revenues for the Lake & Peninsula Borough.
The PLP’s current plan for Pebble is to establish a 20-year open-pit operation with a circa-63 Mt/y average mining rate and a 163,260 t/d processing plant. This could lead to annual production of 555,991 t of copper-gold concentrate and 13,605 t of molybdenum concentrate.