Friday, July 10, 2020

Morgan Stanley Cuts Ties to Pebble Mine

Nushagak River, Bristol Bay Watershed: Robert Glenn Ketchum

In May, more than 32,000 Activists called on Morgan Stanley to Walk-Back their Investment in the disastrous Pebble Mine Project, a Proposed Open-Pit, Gold and Copper Mega-Mine, that would Destroy Alaska's Spectacular Bristol Bay.

Responding to Outreach from Indigenous Leaders and Activist Organizations, Morgan Stanley, has Cut Ties to the Disastrous Pebble Mine Project.

Earlier this year, Morgan Stanley was the Custodian for 4.5 million Shares in Northern Dynasty Minerals, the Canadian Company behind the Pebble Mine. But their Latest Report shows a more than 99% Reduction in Northern Dynasty Minerals Shares.

Morgan Stanley's Sell-Off is an Incredible Victory for the Indigenous Communities and Ecosystems Threatened by the Pebble Mine. Shutting Off Investor Money is Critical to Saving Bristol Bay.

Northern Dynasty has adamantly Refused to Disclose any Analysis of the Scheme’s Projected Costs and Revenue, presumably because a Negative Financial Assessment would Deter, not Attract, New Investors. And the Cash-Strapped 100% Owner’s desperate hope, its “business plan—is that the issuance of a permit by the Army Corps will attract new investment, a new partner, or a buy-out, leaving the Pebble Mine’s future to some yet-to-be-determined company allegedly waiting in the wings.”

If such a Company indeed exists, it will necessarily bring with it a Very High Tolerance for Risk of All Kinds: Financial, Environmental, Legal, Regulatory, Social, Technical, and of course, Reputational Risk, since any Company that chooses to Associate with Northern Dynasty will inevitably be Tarred by the Widespread Condemnation that the Pebble Mine so richly Deserves.

Road Access to the Project Site is uncertain, as Landowners along the Infrastructure Corridor have Re-Affirmed that they will Not Consent.

Finally, with a Major National Election just months away, there is also Political Risk, since a Change in Federal Leadership will Enable The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to Renew Major Restrictions on the Project, Restrictions previously Proposed Based on the Significant, Unacceptable, and Potentially “catastrophic” Risks to the Region that the Agency’s Scientists have Predicted from Mining even at a Scale far Smaller than is Currently Proposed by the Pebble Project for Permitting.

Under the Federal Clean Water Act, even after a Permit has been Issued by the Army Corps, EPA retains its Authority to Prohibit or Restrict an Activity or Project “at any time” in a Sensitive Region like the Bristol Bay Watershed, the Incubator for trillions of Wild Salmon, including 50% of the World’s Sockeye.

Morgan Stanley’s recent Sell-Off of Northern Dynasty Shares is One more ominous Signal to investors and the Mining Industry that the Pebble Mine is indeed, as so many have said, the “wrong mine in absolutely the wrong place.” Investors Ignore this at their Peril, as so many Northern Dynasty Shareholders and Former Partners have already learned the hard way. Northern Dynasty is a Bad Investment.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

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