What happened

Shares of Northern Dynasty Minerals (NAK -0.53%) are up 50% just this week, including a 23% jump on Wednesday. 

To put that in perspective, though, shares dropped more than 86% from July 2020 highs through the end of 2020. 

So what

The roller-coaster path of the stock comes thanks to various updates on the company's Alaskan Pebble Mine project -- the mining company's only project. Most recently, after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) rejected Northern Dynasty's response in addressing environmental issues related to dredged materials and waste fluids, the stock plunged more than 50%.

Heavy equipment working an open pit mine.

Image source: Getty Images.

But Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy's administration will formerly appeal the Army Corps' denial of a key federal permit for the project. 

Now what

The mine is the world's largest undeveloped copper, gold, molybdenum, and silver resource, according to the company. Prior to the USACE ruling, shareholders had to endure some volatility that was more political than project-related. 

In September 2020, President Trump said there would be "no politics" in the mine-review process. A previous comment on Twitter from his son, Donald Jr., implied opposition to the project saying, "The headwaters of Bristol Bay and the surrounding fishery are too unique and fragile to take any chances with." Donald Trump Jr. is known to be an avid fisherman in the area. 

It's still too early to know how the appeal will be received. The Pebble Partnership will join the state's appeal, claiming "mitigation requirements for Pebble are contrary to policy and precedent in Alaska." Investors seem to want to guess that having the support of the Alaskan governor will revive the project and provide more gains ahead.