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Northern Dynasty hopeful for Pebble project approval under Trump administration

Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. expects to receive approval to develop its Pebble copper-gold project in Alaska under the new U.S. administration headed by President Donald Trump, Bloomberg News reported Jan. 23.

The company's CEO, Ronald Thiessen, said the ongoing dispute with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will be solved within the next 100 days, and a new partner may join the project by October this year.

In late October 2016, Northern Dynasty's Alaska-based subsidiary, Pebble Ltd. Partnership, and the EPA jointly filed for mediation in federal court to resolve ongoing litigation related to the Pebble project.

In September 2014, the Pebble Partnership unit initiated an action in federal district court in Alaska, alleging the EPA violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act while developing the Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment and pre-emptively blocking the water discharge permit for the project.

Thiessen noted that the permitting process will take about four years to complete and will cost about US$150 million.

"If there's only one thing good about a Trump presidency, it's that it'll be a lot easier in the resource industry in the United States to get things done," Canadian mining magnate Frank Giustra said. Giustra sold his holdings in Northern Dynasty in 2016.

Company shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange were up over 12.6% at trading close Jan. 23.