November 28, 2017 11:22 PM
The US House of Representative has passed a bill that will speed up the land exchange between Polymet and the US Forest Service.
The bill, which was introduced by Rep. Rick Nolan, will advance PolyMet’s long-awaited project to open up the copper, nickel and other precious minerals under Iron Range land known as the Duluth Complex.
The legislation is called the Superior National Forest Land Exchange Act. Rep. Nolan says the legislation will help create hundreds of good paying jobs in mining and related industries.
“This bill is a win for taxpayers, for the environment, and for good paying jobs,” said Rep Nolan. “The public will gain access to 2,000 acres of beautiful wetlands, lakeshore, and wild rice waters, while PolyMet receives a smaller area bordered by existing mining operations and infrastructure that it already owns the mineral rights to."
The legislation now moves to the Senate and will also need to be signed by President Trump into law. Rep. Nolan says if the bill is signed into law, the US can better meet requirements in other areas.
"If the land exchange – which has already been approved by the Obama Administration’s Forest Service – becomes law, it would mark an important step toward providing our Nation the precious metals it requires to meet growing demands in defense, manufacturing, health care, environmental “green” technologies and medical research. As I have said many times before, any potential mining project must meet the rigorous state and federal environmental regulations before it can move forward.”
The Superior National Forest Land Exchange Act does not authorize or guarantee the proposed NorthMet copper-nickel mining near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. It only expedites the pending administrative transaction – 6,690 acres of private land become public, granting visitors and tribal members access to trails and recreation, abundant timber resources, a huge tract of wild rice water at Hay Lake, and almost 2,000 acres of wetlands.
In return, PolyMet will receive and transfer into private ownership 6,650 acres of contiguous mining-friendly land surrounded by existing mining operations and infrastructure.
Updated: November 28, 2017 11:22 PM
Created: November 28, 2017 11:12 PM
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