Draft Environmental Assessment about mineral withdrawal released

The U.S. Forest Service has released its Draft Environmental Assessment about the proposed mineral withdrawal in the Rainy River watershed.

According to Save the Boundary Waters campaign chair Becky Rom, the assessment provides “a strong scientific foundation for a 20-year ban on copper mining near the Boundary Waters.”

She said this document will be used wisely, and will help them make their case to permanently ban mining in that area.

The Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness said the Forest Service is moving to recommend a 20-year mineral withdrawal on federal land.

Twin Metals is proposing to build an underground copper nickel project near that area. They have a statement that reads:

“Today’s action by the U.S. Forest Service is not informed by science and it attempts to inhibit the consideration of copper-nickel mining projects across a vast area of northeast Minnesota. It will affect the future domestic accessibility of clean energy minerals needed to combat climate change and strengthen U.S. supply chains. This action contradicts the goals of the Biden administration.
We have longstanding valid existing mineral rights. We will continue to work for the Twin Metals project to receive the thorough science-based environmental review proscribed in law and designed to protect the environment including the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
We remain confident that we will move this project forward, responsibly source clean energy minerals and bring 750 family-sustaining jobs and 1,500 spinoff jobs to the communities of northeast Minnesota.”

There will now be a 30-day comment period.

To look at the documents, click here

This is a developing story.