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PolyMet Perspective on Financing and Permitting

Updated: June 28, 2019 07:38 PM

On Friday, PolyMet's rights offering became final. Their CEO explained what that means.

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"The rights offering gave existing shareholders an opportunity to acquire new shares at a discounted rate. Glencore was the backstop, which means Glencore could purchase whatever was not bought by others," explained Jon Cherry, the CEO of PolyMet. "It raised $265 million dollars to pay outstanding debt."

That is a key part of getting $950 million dollars in financing to begin construction of the copper-nickel mine and plant. "We've been meeting with banks in the United States, Canada, and Europe. There is a lot of interest. But they wanted to see the final permit in hand, and we needed to deal with outstanding debt."

As for concerns about Glencore, which is a Swiss-based commodities giant, Cherry stressed that PolyMet is still a publicly traded company with a board that is committed to following the standards. "What people need to understand, is that it's important financially to do this the correct way. If you don't follow the law, you won't be able to mine and make a profit. And that's what people are looking to do here."

In the past couple of weeks, there's been continued scrutiny and interest in the permitting process. In particular, how the MPCA and EPA worked together on a water discharge permit. There is going to be an audit and hearings about the issue.

Cherry said that it shows the process works, because the MPCA addressed issues brought up by the EPA. "That is an internal issue between the agencies. We have a valid permit that meets all the state and federal standards. And we are happy to move forward with it."

They continue to prep the site for construction.

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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