Pebble’s owner reports growing deficit and doubts about its future. Again.

(KDLG photo)

The company trying to develop the Pebble Mine is going to need a lot more money to keep up the pace.

Northern Dynasty, based in Vancouver, B.C., is the parent company of the Pebble Partnership. It reports losing about $40 million (CA$53 million) in the first nine months of the year.

Its deficit now exceeds $400 million. If the company can’t raise the money to pay its debts when they come due, it may have to “reduce or curtail” its operations “at some point,” the report says.

“As such, there is material uncertainty that raises substantial doubt about the Group’s (Pebble and its parent company’s) ability to continue as a going concern,” the report says.

Northern Dynasty has included nearly identical statements in previous quarterly reports.

Pebble spokesman Mike Heatwole said in an email that Pebble continues to look for a partner and is confident in its ability to continue advancing the project.

This and previous financial statements tell a story that’s much darker than the rosy image Pebble projects in its ad campaign, said Daniel Cheyette, a vice president of Bristol Bay Native Corporation.

“I do believe we have a desperate company that is trying to do everything it can, including being disingenuous with the Alaskan public, to try to stay viable and find a partner,” Cheyette said.

Bristol Bay Native Corporation is one of several groups fighting Pebble. Opponents say a mine would endanger salmon streams that flow into Bristol Bay, risking the fisheries that are the mainstay of the region’s economy and cultures.

Pebble executives say the project would be safe and provide good jobs to local residents. They’re waiting for the Corps of Engineers to issue a final Environmental Impact Statement.

The company’s third-quarter statement shows a big increase in cash bonuses this year. Pebble has also increased what it spends on lobbyists.

This story has been amended to provide more context about Pebble’s previous financial statements.