PolyMet's Draft Permit to Mine Up for Public Comment

January 05, 2018 10:44 PM

Another milestone for PolyMet. On Friday morning, the DNR placed their all important draft permit to mine up for public comment and review. It's 20,000 pages.

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Brad Moore, PolyMet's VP of Environmental and Government Affiairs, said, "This is Minnesota's first non-ferrous mining permit. It's a culmination of a decade of work on environmental review. It's a major step for the company, and a major step for Minnesota."

It also includes outlines for financial assurance and wetland replacement. Permit conditions lay out the monitoring, operating, reporting and inspection requirements during both the construction and operation of the mine. PolyMet plans on mining precious metals near Babbitt, and processing them in Hoyt Lakes at the former LTV site.

The permit to mine is the final major permit from the DNR to be placed on notice. Others have been, and the agency has received public comment. Moore said, "So far, the comments haven't triggered any major red flags. They've generally been pretty solid."

Environmental groups remain critical of the proposal. Mining advocates cheered Friday's news.

Congressman Rick Nolan sent a statement: "This decision by Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources is a significant step forward for the PolyMet project and for bringing more good paying jobs to the Iron Range after more than a decade of thorough environmental review and study," said Rep. Nolan. "As someone who has helped coordinate agency discussions and actions to move this process forward, I applaud the DNR's work to ensure that the NorthMet project will be done in a safe and environmentally responsible way."

There will be public meetings about the permit to mine, as well as other permits, coming up in February. The DNR is hosting those in conjunction with the MPCA.

February 7th: Aurora, 4-9pm, with public comments taken from 6-9pm, at the Mesabi East High School.

February 8th: Duluth, 1-9pm, with public comments taken from 6-9pm, at the DECC.

Comments will be taken through March 6th. You can submit electronically or by mail to: 

MN DNR, Division of Land and Minerals

500 Lafayette Road N, Box 45

St. Paul, MN 55155-4045



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