Polymet hopes new campaign gathers support before public comment period

By KBJR News 1

October 30, 2013 Updated Oct 30, 2013 at 6:16 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Polymet Mining is less than a month away from the scheduled release of its environmental impact statement.

The company is in the permitting process for mining copper–nickel and other precious metals near Hoyt Lakes.

Meanwhile, the recent launch of a new public relations campaign hopes to mine support.

"We really want to provide an opportunity for people to learn more about the project, educate themselves," said Polymet's Vice President of Public, Governmental and Environmental Affairs, LaTisha Gietzen.

"Go Polymet" is the slogan of the company's new public awareness campaign. Launching in early October, it features the website, www.gopolymet.com, with details about the project and ways the public can support the effort to open the mine.

Paired with social media outlets, the company hopes the campaign helps spread its message before a public comment period which will follow the release of the environmental impact statement.

"[We want to] provide people with information, generally about the project," said Gietzen, "Avenues for people to connect through Facebook, Twitter and the blog on our website, prior to the public comment period of our EIS.

Meanwhile, opponents hope to spread a message of their own, saying the mine will pollute the environment and destroy the area's natural beauty in exchange for the extraction of natural resources.

Polymet officials say that's not the case and hope their new campaign helps prove it.

"I think people really want the resources to be able to talk, educated about the project," said Gietzen.

The environmental impact statement is scheduled to be released on November 22, when it will be published on the federal register.

Written for the web by Jennifer Austin.