State DNR to stop work on environmental review for Twin Metals

State agency to pause environmental review work on proposed copper and nickel mining project.
State agency to pause environmental review work on proposed copper and nickel mining project.(KBJR 6)
Published: Feb. 15, 2022 at 3:46 PM CST
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DULUTH, MN. (KBJR) - ST. PAUL, MN -- The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced Tuesday it is stopping work on the environmental review for the proposed Twin Metals project.

According to the agency, this decision was made due to the U.S. Department of Interior canceling two federal mineral leases associated with the copper and nickel mining project.

In a letter to Twin Metals, DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen said the Interior Department’s decision impacts the viability of the proposed project.

“We understand from your staff that, due to the federal action and its impacts on the project as proposed, Twin Metals wants to end the income contract for the DNR’s work on the environmental review. The DNR will follow up with separate correspondence to terminate the contract, which will allow us to close out accounts and return all unexpended funds,” wrote Strommen.

Twin Metals released a statement Tuesday addressing the DNR’s decision.

“Twin Metals Minnesota is working to determine the next steps to continue to advance our underground copper, nickel, cobalt and platinum group metals project. A pause on the environmental review process is necessary and appropriate while we defend our project and our mineral rights in court.”

The company submitted its mine operations plan to state and federal regulators in 2019.

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