Northern Dynasty Minerals Enters into Framework Agreement with First Quantum Minerals

Mr. Ronald Thiessen reports:

VANCOUVER, Dec. 18, 2017 /CNW/ – Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. (TSX: NDM; NYSE MKT: NAK) (“Northern Dynasty” or the “Company”) announced today that it has entered into a framework agreement with First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (“First Quantum”) (TSX: FM) which contemplates that an affiliate of First Quantum will subsequently execute an option agreement with Northern Dynasty.

The option agreement contemplates an option payment of US$150 million staged over four years which option will entitle First Quantum to acquire the right to earn a 50% interest in the Pebble Limited Partnership (the “Pebble Partnership”) for US$1.35 billion. The option period may be extended for up to 2 years by First Quantum making payments to be agreed upon which amounts will be offset against the $1.35 billion additional investment amount. Within five business days of the execution of the framework agreement, First Quantum will make an early option payment of US$37.5 million (“Early Option Price Installment”) to Northern Dynasty. The Early Option Price Installment will be applied solely for the purpose of progressing the permitting of the Pebble Project.

The entry by First Quantum into the option agreement is contingent upon the completion of due diligence, necessary regulatory approvals being obtained and the successful negotiation of the final form of the option agreement and associated commercial agreements. Finalization and execution of the option agreement and associated commercial agreements is expected early in the second quarter of 2018. Investors are cautioned there is no assurance that a transaction will be entered into at the end of the process.

“We have made good progress in the partnering process and are very pleased to be in advanced-stage discussions with First Quantum, an industry leader in mine development and management,” Northern Dynasty President & CEO Ron Thiessen confirmed. “Just as importantly, the immediate capital contribution from First Quantum will allow Northern Dynasty to execute on its plan to move the Pebble Project forward to initiate federal and state permitting in the very near-term.”

About First Quantum Minerals Ltd.

First Quantum is a well-established and growing metals and mining company with an industry-leading project development track record. First Quantum operates seven mines and one copper smelter across six countries producing mainly copper, gold, nickel and zinc. With a geographically diversified portfolio of tier-one operations expected to produce approximately 570,000 tonnes of copper in 2017 and the large-scale, advanced-stage Cobre Panama development project, First Quantum is poised to become one of the largest widely-held, pure-play copper producers in the world.

About Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd.

Northern Dynasty is a mineral exploration and development company based in Vancouver, Canada. Northern Dynasty’s principal asset, owned through its wholly-owned Alaska-based US subsidiary Pebble Limited Partnership and other wholly-owned subsidiaries, is a 100% interest in a contiguous block of 2,402 mineral claims in southwest Alaska, including the Pebble deposit. The Pebble Partnership is the proponent of the Pebble Project, an initiative to develop one of the world’s most important mineral resources.

Original Press Release click HERE


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