With Bristol Bay sockeye salmon stocks on the upswing, the mining company that would potentially be their demise took a stock-market thrashing this week. Canadian firm Northern Dynasty Minerals saw its value skyrocket after Trump’s victory thanks to frothing investors championing the company’s prospects under the new regime. On Tuesday, however, New York-based Kerrisdale Capital Management (KCP) released a scathing analysis of Northern Dynasty's Pebble asset, outing it as a worthless boondoggle.
"Based on our discussions with multiple people directly involved in planning the Pebble project, we believe the answer is simple: the upfront capital costs necessary to build and operate the mine are so onerous that the mine isn't commercially viable. Indeed, Anglo American—Northern Dynasty's former partner on the Pebble project, before it exited in 2013—concluded that, under a range of scenarios and despite years of attempted optimization, building the mine would destroy billions of dollars of value," read KCP's investment report.
KCP's announcement hit its mark, causing Northern Dynasty's stock to nosedive by 40 percent. Keep in mind, though, KCP is a private investment management firm that has a short-stake in the Alaska copper-gold project. If Pebble fails, its investors pop the champagne corks—alongside a long list of Bristol Bay defenders from the flyfishing community and elsewhere. More than a million and a half people rallied against the project, in favor of salmon over fool's gold, during the EPA comment period in fall 2014.