A small Canadian miner is confident Donald Trump’s U.S. presidential win will let it proceed with an application for a copper and gold mine in Alaska that has been stalled almost three years by environmental regulators aiming to protect the world’s biggest sockeye salmon fishery.
Ronald Thiessen, chief executive officer and president of Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd, said he expected the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to announce in the first quarter of 2017 that it will let the application process proceed for the controversial project. He said the company has held discussions with Trump’s transition team, including Myron Ebell, who heads the EPA transition.
Shares in Northern Dynasty, which owns the massive Pebble deposit in southwest Alaska’s Bristol Bay region, have more than doubled since the U.S. election on Nov. 8. The shares surged 23 percent on Nov. 9 alone.
In February 2014, the EPA took the unusual action of blocking a mine before the project owner applied for a development permit. The company has estimated that removing that pre-emptive veto could happen three to four months after an EPA announcement. This would allow Northern Dynasty to seek a deep-pocketed partner and resume permitting the project, one of the world’s biggest undeveloped copper and gold deposits.