Twin Metals Minnesota to appeal decisions from BLM and US Forest Service

October 27, 2021

Twin Metals Minnesota issued a statement that it would appeal the decision from the U.S. Forest Service to issue a withdrawl study that would block the construction of the company’s proposed copper, nickel and cobalt mine.

The announcement from the U.S. Forest Service resumes a process started by former President Barack Obama’s administration to block mining in the region. That decision was put on hold by President Donald Trump. The decision could potentially lead to a 20-year mining moratorium on the land.

That action was quickly followed by the Bureau of Land Management rejecting Twin Metals Minnesota’s preference right lease applications and prospecting permit applications.

The company will appeal the decision.

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to the communities of northeast Minnesota,” said Kelly Osborne, Twin Metals chief executive officer said in a statement. “We have a viable mining project that we will move forward under existing law.”

“The rejection of the preference right lease applications and prospecting permit applications was both politically motivated and completely unnecessary,” said Julie Padilla, Twin Metals Chief Regulatory Officer. “This tells us that the federal government has no intention to listen to science, and it also makes clear that opponents of copper-nickel mining are afraid that the established environmental review process already underway for our project would show that a modern copper-nickel mine can be safe for the environment and should be permitted.”

Twin Metals has state, private and federal mineral rights that have been held in good standing for more than a half century, Twin Metals said in a statement. The company formally submitted its mine proposal to state and federal agencies in late 2019. This proposal was the culmination of more than a decade of engineering, hydrogeological, environmental and engagement work including the evaluation of dozens of project-specific configurations and technologies that maximize environmental protection.

Since Twin Metals’ mine plan submittal, the company and its expert contractors have produced in excess of 25,000 pages of scientific baseline data and environmental analyses on the specifics of the Twin Metals project to support the state and federal agencies for the environmental review process. However, regulators have failed to advance that process.

“Twin Metals cares deeply about protecting the surrounding environment through development, operation and closure of its mine, because it is a company made up of individuals who live, work and raise families in Minnesota. The minerals Twin Metals is proposing to mine – copper, nickel, cobalt and platinum group metals – are needed for clean energy technologies that are essential to combat climate change and secure domestic supply chains. That is why Twin Metals is advancing a model mine using best available technologies to protect the environment and workers,” the company said.

The underground Twin Metals mine is designed to have minimal surface impact, and utilize dry stack tailings management, which is lauded by environmental groups and endorsed by more than 140 NGOs as the gold standard for tailings management in the mining industry. Twin Metals will also utilize an electric mining fleet, which greatly reduces project emissions while significantly improving worker safety. And the company is continuously investing in additional project innovations to reduce its impacts, with a long-term goal to become a carbon neutral operation. Twin Metals continues to be firmly dedicated to the communities of northeast Minnesota and to advancing its model, sustainable mining project that will bring much-needed economic growth to northeast Minnesota.

 

 

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