Northern Dynasty comments on National Marine Fisheries Service status review of Lake Iliamna Seals

 Northern Dynasty comments on National Marine Fisheries Service status review
                            of Lake Iliamna Seals

PR Newswire

VANCOUVER, May 17, 2013

VANCOUVER, May  17,  2013 /PRNewswire/  -  The US  National  Marine  Fisheries 
Services (NMFS) has  announced it will  conduct a 12-month  assessment of  the 
biological status  of harbor  seals  in Southwest  Alaska's Lake  Iliamna,  in 
response  to  the  Center  for  Biological  Diversity's  (CBD)  November  2012 
submission of a  "Petition to List  Iliamna Lake Seal,  a Distinct  Population 
Segment  of  Pacific  Harbour  Seal  (Phoca  vitulina  richardsi)  under   the 
Endangered Species Act".

NMFS is  the lead  federal  agency responsible  for research,  management  and 
conservation of seals and other sea mammals in the United States. Under the US
Endangered Species Act (ESA), any party can petition the government to list  a 
species as  threatened  or  endangered.  In response  to  the  CBD's  petition 
regarding Lake Iliamna seals, the NMFS  has agreed to conduct a status  review 
and consider  the  best scientific  and  commercial information  available  to 
determine whether a threatened or endangered species listing or designation of
critical habitat is warranted.

In today's notice, NMFS stated "We have reviewed the petition, the  literature 
cited in the petition, and other  literature and information available in  our 
files;  we  identified  numerous  factual  errors,  misquoted  and  incomplete 
references, and  unsupported  conclusions  within  the  petition.  Our  review 
indicates that there  is uncertainty and  conflicting information specific  to 
harbor seals in Iliamna Lake."

"In the past, NMFS has stated that it is not known whether Lake Iliamna  seals 
are genetically isolated  from other harbor  seals in Bristol  Bay," said  Ron 
Thiessen, President  &  CEO  of  Northern  Dynasty  Minerals  Ltd.  ("Northern 
Dynasty" or the "Company")  (TSX: NDM; NYSE MKT:  NAK). "Now they have  agreed 
that the question justifies additional assessment.

"Northern Dynasty and the Pebble Limited Partnership (the "Pebble Partnership"
or "PLP") have invested a great deal of time and money studying  environmental 
conditions  in  the  Lake  Iliamna  area.  and  wesupport  the  research  and 
conservation efforts of  the US  federal government.  Ultimately, whether  the 
Lake Iliamna seals are considered to be a distinct population segment or  not, 
Northern Dynasty is confident  that development of the  project by the  Pebble 
Partnership will not affect their habitat or their numbers."

Lake Iliamna is located on the  Alaska Peninsula approximately 15 miles  south 
of the Pebble Project, and is connected to Bristol Bay via the Kvichak  River. 
It is not known how long harbor seals have inhabited the lake or whether  they 
are permanent residents, as harbor seals are known to migrate from salt  water 
to fresh water  in other parts  of North America.  The Pebble Partnership  has 
collected scientific  data on  harbor seals  in Lake  Iliamna as  part of  its 
27,000 page Environmental  Baseline Document  (EBD), which  suggests that  the 
seals experience no geographical barriers to movement between Lake Iliamna and
Bristol Bay. PLP has submitted its technical review of the CBD's Lake  Iliamna 
seal  petition  to  NMFS  and  will  continue  to  engage  in  public  comment 
opportunities associated with the agency's 12-month status review process.

"The fact is, whether  or not this local  seal population warrants a  listing, 
they will  not  be  affected  by  the  Pebble  Project,"  Thiessen  said.  "We 
appreciate that Lake  Iliamna, its harbor  seals and all  the aquatic life  it 
supports are  important food  and  cultural resources  for the  Alaska  Native 
people of the region. Pebble is developing a mine plan that will ensure  these 
resources are  protected for  the  use and  enjoyment of  future  generations, 
regardless of whether the Lake Iliamna seal population is considered  distinct 
or not."

To begin the status review, NMFS has opened a 60-day comment period ending  on 
July 16 in  an effort  to collect  information that  addresses biological  and 
other information  that  is  known about  the  species,  conservation  efforts 
currently in place, whether the  known threats (if any)  rise to the level  of 
supporting a listing, and ultimately whether Lake Iliamna harbor seals qualify
as a distinct population segment.

The NFMS status review  of Lake Iliamna  seals is due to  be published in  the 
Federal Register  by November  2013.  If the  NFMS  warrants a  threatened  or 
endangered listing for Lake  Iliamna harbor seals under  the ESA, the  federal 
agency must then define  critical habitat for the  species within one year.  A 
'critical habitat' designation does not establish a preserve or refuge, but is
defined  as  a  specific  geographic  area  that  contains  the  physical  and 
biological features  essential  to  the  conservation  of  a  species.  Before 
critical habitat is designated, careful  consideration is given to impacts  on 
specific areas, including potential economic impacts.

About the Pebble Project

The Pebble Project is an initiative  of the Pebble Partnership to  responsibly 
develop  a  globally  significant  copper,  gold  and  molybdenum  deposit  in 
southwest Alaska into a  modern, long-life mine, which  will benefit not  only 
the proponent,  its partners  and the  people and  culture of  the State  of 
Alaska, but  also industries,  suppliers and  consultants locally  and in  the 
Lower 48 United States of America. The project is located 200 miles  southwest 
of Anchorage on state land designated for mineral exploration and development.
It is situated in  a region of rolling  tundra approximately 1,000 feet  above 
sea-level, 65  miles from  tidewater  on Cook  Inlet and  presents  favourable 
conditions for successful mine site and infrastructure development.

The Pebble Project consists of the Pebble deposit, surrounding mineral claims
and a stream of financing provided by Northern Dynasty's project partner Anglo
American US (Pebble) LLC. The Pebble Partnership was established in July 2007
as a 50:50 partnership between a wholly-owned affiliate of Northern Dynasty
and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Anglo American plc. Both Northern Dynasty and
Anglo American have equal ownership and direction of the Pebble Partnership.

Under the terms of the Pebble Limited Partnership Agreement, Anglo American is
required to elect  to commit $1.5  billion in staged  investments in order  to 
retain its  50%  interest in  the  Pebble  Project. Funds  provided  by  Anglo 
American  are   currently  being   invested  in   comprehensive   exploration, 
engineering,  environmental  and  socioeconomic  programs  toward  the  future 
development of the Pebble Project.

About Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd.

Northern Dynasty is  a mineral  exploration and development  company based  in 
Vancouver, Canada, which  holds indirect interests  in over 600  sq. miles  of 
mineral claims in southwest Alaska, USA. Northern Dynasty's principal asset is
a 50% interest  in the Pebble  Partnership, owner of  the Pebble Project.  The 
Pebble Project is an advanced-stage initiative  to develop one of the  world's 
most important mineral resources.

Ronald W. Thiessen
President & CEO

________________________________________________

                             Sole Responsibility

No regulatory authority accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of
this release.  Northern Dynasty  is solely  and entirely  responsible for  the 
contents of this  news release. No  other party, including  any parties  which 
have an interest in the project, are  in any way responsible for the  contents 
hereof.

           Forward Looking Information and other Cautionary Factors

This release includes certain statements  that may be deemed  "forward-looking 
statements".  All  statements  in  this  release,  other  than  statements  of 
historical facts, especially those that address estimated resource quantities,
grades and contained metals, are  forward-looking statements because they  are 
generally made on  the basis of  estimation and extrapolation  from a  limited 
number of drill holes and  metallurgical studies. Although diamond drill  hole 
core provides valuable  information about the  size, shape and  geology of  an 
exploration  project,  there  will  always  remain  a  significant  degree  of 
uncertainty in connection  with these  valuation factors until  a deposit  has 
been extensively drilled on closely spaced centers, which has occurred only in
specific areas  on  the Pebble  Project.  Although the  Company  believes  the 
expectations  expressed  in  its  forward-looking  statements  are  based   on 
reasonable assumptions, such statements should not be in any way construed  as 
guarantees of  the ultimate  size, quality  or commercial  feasibility of  the 
Pebble Project  or of  the  Company's future  performance. The  likelihood  of 
future mining at the Pebble Project is subject to a large number of risks  and 
will require  achievement  of  a  number  of  technical,  economic  and  legal 
objectives, including  obtaining necessary  mining and  construction  permits, 
completion of pre-feasibility  and final feasibility  studies, preparation  of 
all necessary engineering for  underground workings and processing  facilities 
as  well  as  receipt  of  significant  additional  financing  to  fund  these 
objectives as  well as  funding mine  construction. Such  funding may  not  be 
available to the Company on acceptable terms or on any terms at all. There  is 
no known  ore  at the  Pebble  Project and  there  is no  assurance  that  the 
mineralization at the Pebble Project will ever be classified as ore. The  need 
for compliance  with  extensive  environmental and  socio-economic  rules  and 
practices and the requirement for the Company to obtain government  permitting 
can cause a delay  or even abandonment  of a mineral  project. The Company  is 
also subject to the specific risks inherent in the mining business as well  as 
general economic and business conditions. For more information on the Company,
Investors should review the Company's annual Form 40-F filing with the  United 
States Securities and  Exchange Commission and  its home jurisdiction  filings 
that are available at www.sedar.com.

SOURCE Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd.

Contact:

For further details on Northern Dynasty please visit the Company's website
atwww.northerndynasty.com or contact Investor services at (604) 684-6365 or
within North America at 1-800-667-2114. Review Canadian public filings
atwww.sedar.com and US public filings atwww.sec.gov.
 
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