Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. expects to advance its Pebble copper-gold project in Alaska after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency withdrew an Obama-era ruling that pre-emptively blocked the project.
In June, the EPA launched a review of the 2014 decision that restricted the use of the Pebble deposit area as a disposal site, citing the harm it may cause to the Bristol Bay watershed.
While the latest decision does not guarantee a Pebble greenlight, Northern Dynasty said July 30 that it removes any uncertainty over the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' issuance of a final project decision, expected in 2020.
The company also noted that the old ruling abused due process as it came before a development plan or an environmental impact statement was completed.
The project is expected to create 2,000 jobs amid a fiscal crisis in Alaska, according to the company.
In February, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California threw out consolidated class-action lawsuits against the company over fraud related to the project.