Pebble Mine loses funding from First Quantum Minerals

A major business deal has fallen through for the proposed Pebble Mine. A Canadian mining company, First Quantum Minerals, will no longer back the controversial project.

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Northern Dynasty Minerals, the sole owner of the Pebble Limited Partnership, announced in a press release late last night that the two companies could not reach an agreement on First Quantum joining the partnership.

Back in December, Northern Dynasty said that First Quantum would buy into Pebble at $150 million over four years. At the end of those four years, First Quantum was to have the option to become a 50 percent owner of the mine. According to Pebble, the initial $150 million would help fund the permitting phase of the proposed gold, copper and molybdenum mine in Bristol Bay.

However the companies delayed finalizing the agreement in April. Now they’ve scrapped the agreement altogether.

Groups opposed to the mine are celebrating.

Robin Samuelson of Dillingham has been fighting the mine for 14 years. He is president of Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation, a tribal chief for the Curyung Tribal Council.

“Four major financing companies pull out of the Pebble Mine. Bristol Bay has spoken. Alaska has spoken,” Samuelson said. “The United States has spoken through the EPA process and the Corps process. I don’t think there’s going to be another big finance company in mining that’s going to come in and help these people out. I think the end is very near for them.”

Since the Pebble Limited Partnership was formed, three other companies have pulled out—the Mitsubishi Corporation, Rio Tinto and, most recently in 2013, Anglo American.

First Quantum Minerals and Pebble Limited Partnership did not respond to a request for comment in time for this story.

Northern Dynasty’s stock dropped sharply this morning. It is down more than 30 percent from yesterday, bringing its stocks to the lowest point since October 2016.

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