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Pebble's Lone Investor Remains Optimistic Despite Challenges

By Mallory Peebles, Crime and Law Enforcement, Natural Resources and Parks Reporter, Fill-in Anchor, mpeebles@ktuu.com
Published On: Nov 18 2013 06:15:00 PM AKST

Investors say the proposed Pebble Mine project in Bristol Bay could bring billions of dollars to our state, but others argue the mine could be an environmental and economic disaster. Within the past few months the controversy has heated up as the proposed project's financial future has come been compromised by a major investor's withdrawal and many employees have been laid off. 

ANCHORAGE -

For more than 2 months The Pebble Partnership has been operating with only one investor following Anglo American’s Sept. 16 withdrawal. 

"Since that time we've really been evaluating how we'll move the Pebble project forward and losing a major partner is a major challenge," said Sean Magee, spokesman for Northern Dynasty Minerals. "On the flip side Northern Dynasty woke up on September 16 as 100 percent owner of one of the world’s largest mineral deposits."

Northern Dynasty Minerals officials note the company is actively looking for an additional investor for the billion-dollar mining project but remains confident that it can move the project forward through 2014 on its own financial standings. 

Magee admits there are a limited number of investors with enough money to take on the project. Anglo American invested about $600 million before it left the Pebble Partnership. 

In a press release from the Canadian Company, Anglo American's Chief Executive Mark Cutifani said in part the reason for leaving was the company’s focus “has been to prioritize capital to projects with the highest value and lowest risks within our portfolio, and reduce the capital required to sustain such projects during the pre-approval phases of development."