Twin Metals appeals dismissal of federal lawsuit
Twin Metals Minnesota announced that is has filed a notice of appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to defend its minerals leases in Northeast Minnesota.
The notice of appeals follows September’s dismissal of Twin Metals lawsuit by a U.S. District Court Judge.
In September, Judge Christopher Cooper dismissed Twin Metals’ 2022 lawsuit, which challenged the U.S. Interior Department’s earlier decision to cancel leases for an underground mine near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
The Interior Department cancelled the leases and other mining approvals after determining they were illegally renewed despite U.S. Forest Service objections related to concerns that mining could pollute the wilderness's streams and lakes with potentially toxic waste.
“Twin Metals is committed to securing its federal mineral rights, which are essential to our transition to a clean energy future,” Francisco Awad, Chief Project Officer of Twin Metals Minnesota said in a statement. “The team at Twin Metals is shaping the future of sustainable mining while championing environmental responsibility. We can both safely mine for critical minerals and protect our environment. Let’s allow for the environmental review process to demonstrate that.”
Leveraging its long-held mineral rights, Twin Metals has spent more than 13 years in northeast Minnesota conducting extensive environmental, engineering, exploration, hydrogeological and community engagement work.
“Twin Metals is steadfastly dedicated to the communities of northeast Minnesota, which is why we are filing an appeal to challenge the dismissal of our federal mineral lease lawsuit,” Awad said. “We look forward to continuing to pursue the tremendous opportunities our region holds through our vast untapped mineral resources.”
According to a report by Reuters, Cooper said his court lacked jurisdiction over Twin Metals’ claims under the Administrative Procedure Act, because the rights allegedly violated by the government stemmed from the terms of its leasing contract with the U.S. government – not procedural legal rights outlined in that law. He reportedly said the claims should have been brought under the Tucker Act, which allowed parties to sue the U.S. over contractual disputes involving the government.