Northern Dynasty Minerals faces lawsuits from investors over Pebble Mine
The challenges for Northern Dynasty Minerals have continued into the new year as it now faces a pair of lawsuits from investors who claim the company behind the Pebble Project in Alaska misled shareholders about the proposed mine.
The Anchorage Daily News reported that the lawsuits were filed in the U.S. District Court in New York. The lawsuits assert that Northern Dynasty Minerals violated federal securities laws when Pebble executives did not fully and accurately provide information about the project. Northern Dynasty’s stock price has plunged 85 percent since the summer.
Developer Pebble Limited Partnership and parent company Northern Dynasty have for years sought to build the mine about 200 miles southwest of Anchorage. The project face strong opposition because of its proximity to Bristol Bay, home of the world’s largest salmon run.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in late November denied Pebble’s effort to win a permit, causing Northern Dynasty stocks to lose half their value that day alone.
Pebble says it is appealing that decision.
The lawsuits are an additional challenge for a company that has seen its fortunes plunge this year, including after two executives were caught discussing the project in secretly recorded videos that were released by an environmental group in September. The mine was also condemned by both of Alaska’s Republican senators.
A lawsuit filed Dec. 4 features McCarthy Lodge co-owner Neil Darish as the lead plaintiff.
Like the second lawsuit filed in mid-December, it accuses Pebble officials of making “materially false and misleading statements.” It also says they failed to disclose, among other things, that the project was not in line with federal law and that the company planned a much larger project than proposed.
Sean Magee, with Northern Dynasty, said the company could not comment on the lawsuits.
Pebble has called the Corps’ permit rejection “political,” and said the agency had previously found that the mine could safely coexist with the fishery.
Northern Dynasty has said it has no formal, defined plans for Pebble beyond the 20-year plan submitted to the Corps for approval. Additional development beyond the submitted plan, the company has said, would require new state and federal reviews.