With an investment of $1.4 billion, Anglo American has become a 50 percent partner with Northern Dynasty to pursue development of the worldclass Pebble copper-gold-molybdenum project in Southwest Alaska.
The purpose of the partnership is to engineer, permit, construct and operate a modern long-life mine at the Pebble prospect. The transaction agreements between Northern Dynasty and Anglo American lay out a schedule to accomplish this goal, targeting completion of a prefeasibility study in December 2008, a feasibility study by 2011 and commencement of commercial production by 2015.
“As one of the world’s largest copper-gold-molybdenum deposits, Pebble has the potential to be a worldclass operation,” said Cynthia Carroll, CEO of Anglo American. “Like Northern Dynasty, Anglo American is committed to the highest international standards for community relations, environmental protection, and health and safety. We look forward to working closely with the people of Alaska and, in particular, the communities of the Bristol Bay area and the Kenai Peninsula to maximize the value of these resources for all stakeholders, taking into account the positive longterm demand prospects for copper.”
Over the next six months, the new partnership will put a management and operating team in place for the Alaskan-based operating company, guided by a board of directors with equal representation from Anglo and Northern Dynasty.
“Northern Dynasty’s experienced, largely Alaskan based, mine development team has been undertaking thorough and balanced technical, environmental and social assessments to ensure that the Pebble project is developed in a manner that protects the environment and traditional ways of life,” said Ron Thiessen, President and CEO of Northern Dynasty. “We have sought a partner that shares our approach to development, has the ability to finance, and is an experienced mine operator. Anglo brings commitment and depth in all these key areas.”
The Pebble deposit inferred resources of 42.9 billion pounds of copper, 39.6 million ounces of gold and 2.7 million pounds of molybdenum add up to one of the largest accumulations of these metals in the world and a projected mine life of at least 50 years or more.