The Trump management said Tuesday it would lift an Obama-era constraint on the world’s greatest potential gold and copper resource controlled by Northern Dynasty Minerals, sending the Canadian firm’s shares hovering.
Under former U.S. President Barack Obama’s regime, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2014 suggested limits on large-scale mining in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed, citing environmental concerns. Under President Donald Trump’s regime, the EPA has leveled scores of ecological rules, and Trump rejects mainstream climate science.
Northern Dynasty’s site is close to Lake Iliamna in southwestern Alaska between the headwaters of two rivers that flow into Bristol Bay and is known for its huge salmon runs, forest and abundant brown bears.
The pebble mine is predicted to produce 70 million tons of gold, molybdenum and copper ore per year and create a hole 1,970 ft. (600 meters) deep.
The proposed constraints were based on hypothetical situations that had been different from Northern Dynasty’s submitted permit application, the EPA stated in a statement, adding the corporate will nonetheless need to undergo the license application procedure.
Shares of Vancouver-based Northern Dynasty soared to close up 67% at C$1.20, their highest level from March.
Development of the mine, close to one of the world’s largest sockeye salmon fisheries, has been fiercely attacked by environmentalists, native organizations and fishers for years.
The shift makes “the way for this toxic venture to damage the world’s last famous sockeye salmon fishery for the benefit of a mining firm,” she added.
There were already indicators the restrictions could be eased in February when the U.S. Military published a draft environmental impact assertion declaring the economic benefits from the mission and noted the mine plan incorporated methods of relieving the ecological impact.