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No Extended Comment Period for PolyMet

Created: 12/24/2013 2:18 PM WDIO.com

The head of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says the agency is unlikely to extend the 90-day public comment period for a proposed copper-nickel mine in northern Minnesota.

DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr told Minnesota Public Radio the comment period on PolyMet Mining Corp.'s proposed Northmet mine is already twice what the federal government requires.

Environmental groups want the state to extend the time for comments an additional 90 days because of the size of the project's environmental impact statement.

Landwehr acknowledges the document is lengthy and complicated. But he says, "we doubled the amount of time" for comment.

The comment period began earlier this month and lasts until March.

The DNR is holding three public hearings on the project in January in Duluth, Aurora and St. Paul.

PolyMet plans on mining base and precious metals near Babbitt, and processing them in Hoyt Lakes. The project faces big support and big opposition in Minnesota.

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