Engineer picked to lead study for Pebble Mine

Posted: Friday, March 11, 2005

An engineer with an extensive background in mining has been appointed to direct and complete an ongoing feasibility study for Northern Dynasty Minerals Limited's Pebble Mine project, the company announced in a press release Tuesday.

Besides being named director of the study, Stephen Hodgson also will assume the post of vice president of engineering for Hunter Dickinson Inc., a Canadian nonprofit organization providing managerial services to a group of mining companies including Northern Dynasty, said Ronald W. Thiessen, president and CEO of HDI and Northern Dynasty.

Hodgson has more than 28 years of experience in mine operations, development and project engineering, Thiessen said. Most recently, he worked for AMEC Americas Limited. He has served as president of MRDI Canada, mining manager for Simons Mining Group and as principal mining engineer for Cominco Engineering Services Ltd.

He has specific experience in copper-gold projects like Pebble, including stints with Ivanhoe's Oyu Tolgoi project in Mongolia, Teck's copper-gold porphyry Petaquilla project in Panama and with Battle Mountain's Phoenix project in Nevada. He also has led a study team for NovaGold's Donlin Creek project in Alaska.

Thiessen said that as vice president of engineering, Hodgson would evaluate, manage and coordinate engineering studies for advanced stage mineral development projects for companies within the HDI group. His first assignment will be as feasibility study director for NDM's gold-copper-molybdenum project in Alaska.

According to NDM, Hodgson sits on the advisory committee of the British Columbia Institute of Technology's Mining Technology Program and is a member of several industry associations, including the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum, the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada and the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers.

A recent analysis of test-hole data suggests a open-pit mine could unearth 200,000 tons of ore per day from the site north of Lake Iliamna on the Alaska Peninsula, resulting in an annual average of 470 million pounds of copper, 674,000 ounces of gold, 15 million pounds of molybdenum and 2.5 million ounces of silver during the first 10 years of a 31-year mine life.

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