The last remaining major shareholder in the Pebble Project divested itself of its shares today. Rio Tinto, a global mining firm, owned 19.1% of Northern Dynasty Minerals and announced it would leave about $25 million dollars’ worth of its shares in Northern Dynasty to Alaska Community Foundation and the Bristol Bay Native Corporation Education Foundation.
Rio Tinto’s withdrawal came after the New York City and California State controllers, who oversee the pension fund investments of those government entities and are substantial shareholders in Rio Tinto, formally asked Rio Tinto to divest itself of the shares of Northern Dynasty Minerals. The controllers cited the risks to Rio Tinto’s reputation for being associated with the Pebble Project – a project with “significant environmental and social impacts.”
Last September Anglo American withdrew from its 50% partnership with Northern Dynasty in the Pebble Project after investing more than $500 million dollars in the project. The withdrawal of Dynasty’s two major investors is a significant blow to the Pebble Project financing and will likely affect the timing of submission of any permit applications for the project.
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