Shares of Northern Dynasty Minerals (NYSEMKT:NAK) soared 33% early today, before settling back to a gain of 20% as of 12:25 p.m. EST. The stock has experienced several sharp moves since the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rejected the company’s response in addressing environmental issues related to dredged materials and waste fluids from its Alaskan Pebble Mine project.
Last night, the mining company announced that the Corps of Engineers accepted the Pebble Partnership’s request for appeal (RFA). That’s the first step in the potential salvation of the company’s lone project, after it appeared to be virtually killed late last year with the corps’ initial decision.
The RFA presented “some very compelling arguments” that the Army Corps’ decision is “contrary to law,” Northern Dynasty CEO Ron Thiessen said in a statement when submitting the appeal. The corps has now confirmed that the Pebble Partnership’s RFA is “complete and meets the criteria for appeal.”
The proposed mine, which is known to contain deposits of copper, gold, and other minerals, is in an environmentally sensitive location, as it drains into Bristol Bay, which houses a productive wild salmon fishery.
Investors will now have about 90 days to see if the Army Corps of Engineers changes its stance. Shares are up today on renewed hope, but the move from here might well be extreme, depending on which way the decision lands. Without any inside view to the appeal process, Northern Dynasty is a speculative investment right now.
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