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Why Northern Dynasty Minerals Stock Dropped 11% This Morning

Rich Smith, The Motley Fool

What happened

Shares of would-be gold miner Northern Dynasty Minerals (NYSEMKT: NAK) took an 11% tumble in early trading Wednesday before retracing to close the day down "only" 3.7%.

The decline appears tied to an announcement Northern Dynasty made this morning to the effect that banks Cantor Fitzgerald Canada, BMO Capital Markets, H.C. Wainwright & Co., and TD Securities have agreed to purchase at least 15.6 million shares of its stock at $0.64 per share -- raising "gross proceeds" of $10 million for Northern Dynasty to use -- and potentially 2.3 million more shares, which would add another $1.5 million.

A gold nugget in the middle of other gold nuggets that are blurred in the background.

There's a small silver lining around this gold miner's latest news. Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Good news? Bad news? Personally, I'd file this story under the heading "missed opportunities."

Three weeks ago, Northern Dynasty stock enjoyed a brief moment in the sun when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued its Draft Environmental Impact Statement on Northern Dynasty's southwest Alaskan Pebble Project to develop a gold mine. Northern Dynasty stock, which had been trading in penny stock territory, briefly touched $1 a share.

That would have been a great time to sell a bunch of stock and raise some cash. Instead, Northern Dynasty management waited until today -- and raised 36% less cash as a result.

Now what

Investors may have reacted today to the missed opportunity, or to the fact that selling so much stock will dilute the stakes of Northern Dynasty's existing shareholders -- or both.

The plus side, of course, is that now Northern Dynasty will have upwards of $9 million after fees, and perhaps even more than $10 million, to put toward "operational expenditures, including engineering, environmental, permitting and evaluation expenses associated with the Pebble Project and the advancement of completion of the United States Army Corps of Engineers Environmental Impact Study," and other useful purposes.

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Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.