Updated: December 18, 2019 06:43 PM
Twin Metals has submitted their mine proposal to the state and federal government.
"This is a big moment for this project. We are $450 million dollars and 10 years in. It's a big day for us, to be able to end the speculation about the project and focus on the facts," shared Julie Padilla, Chief Regulatory Officer.
The submittal kicks off the start of a long regulatory process.
Twin Metals plans on building an underground mine near Ely. "It would be the first underground mine in Minnesota since 1967," Padilla added. "It will look completely different with new mining technology." They also plan on storing their tailings using the dry stack method, and also putting some back underground.
"We have a long way ahead of us. A lot of room for engagement. And we look forward to sharing all this information," Padilla said. "We are honored to have this opportunity to enter the regulatory process. It's an opportunity every business should have. To put a project forward and have it judged on its merits, and tested based on the qualify of the work."
Environmental group have shared concerns about the proximity of the project to the Boundary Waters.
On Tuesday, there was a press conference including the executive director of the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters. Tom Landwehr likened the mine plan to a lump of coal at Christmas. "This is a significant and threatening development. This is an incredibly perilous time for the Boundary Waters."
The DNR has created a website specifically for the Twin Metals project:
Congressman Pete Stauber released a statement, saying in part, "In northern Minnesota, mining is our past, present, and future. This Mine Plan of Operation represents the future of our mining industry, as our friends and neighbors will target another key section of the Duluth Complex to supply the world’s demand for precious metals."
And fellow Congressman Tom Emmer added, "Following an extensive environmental review process designed to protect the natural treasures of our state, this project can provide the region with new jobs and economic prosperity for generations to come. Today's Mine Plan of Operation is the culmination of years of work to fully restore Minnesota's right to explore, and I am pleased that Minnesotans may once again have an ability to showcase to the world what we do best."
The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy sent this through their executive director, Kathryn Hoffman. "Our clean water is precious, but state and federal agencies have not shown they are up to the task of protecting it from the threat of sulfide mining. Nobody is entitled to pollute our water, and Governor Walz and the Minnesota DNR have the legal authority to protect the Boundary Waters from the threat of the Twin Metals mine. The time is now to stand up and demand that they use this authority to defend the Boundary Waters and Lake Superior."
Jobs for Minnesotans sent an open letter about the submittal. It reads, in part: "This is a long-awaited milestone for the project and represents more than a decade of work to determine the most responsible path forward to mine critical minerals. The filing kicks off a rigorous, multi-year environmental review process at the state and federal level, a process established in law. To earn the right to mine in Minnesota, Twin Metals will need to prove it can meet or exceed exacting state and federal standards for environmental protection. As Minnesotans we expect no less."
For more info about Twin Metals: http://www.twin-metals.com/about-the-project/mine-plan-of-operations/
Updated: December 18, 2019 06:43 PM
Created: December 18, 2019 10:00 AM
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