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Northern Dynasty still trying to sell Pebble project stake

Alaska Dispatch

Does the old adage, "No news is good news," apply anymore?

It appears that no news is something other than "good news" if you're an investor with Northern Dynasty Minerals or the Pebble mine project.

In April, Alaska Dispatch and the Alaska Journal of Commerce reported that Northern Dynasty Minerals had placed its 50-percent stake in Pebble -- the world's largest undeveloped copper and gold deposit, located in Southwest Alaska -- on the chopping block. Other investors seemed surprised when the announcement was made.

Tuesday, the Associated Press broke the story that, well, nothing's happened since then.

According to the AP, Northern Dynasty's investment in Pebble is that company's sole asset. Anglo American, the global mining conglomerate, joined Northern Dynasty in a "50-50 partnership" on Pebble back in 2007, around the same time that Pebble geologists discovered what they call "the eastern deposit," a much higher-grade deposit that's much deeper underground, than the original find.

Still, a billion dollars isn't going to get this whopper of a project off the ground.

Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. chief Ron Thiessen told the AP that "the effort needs a major mining company to step in and help move it through permitting and into production."

So far, Northern Dynasty hasn't received a single offer yet. And the price of gold has skyrocketed since April, up $400, from $1,430 per ounce to about $1,830 on Tuesday.

Look for a bigger story on the Pebble project later this week from Alaska Dispatch.