EPA Releases Recommendations on Polymet's Mining Project Plan

By KBJR News 1

EPA Releases Recommendations on Polymet's Mining Project Plan

August 15, 2013 Updated Aug 15, 2013 at 3:54 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- The U.S. EPA has completed its review of the Preliminary Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (PSDEIS) for the development of PolyMet’s Minnesota copper and nickel mine.

The EPA sent a letter last week to the U.S. Forest Service, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, providing constructive recommendations for preparing the draft Environmental Impact Statement for additional public feedback.

The EPA notes in its review of the project plan that the PSDEIS "reflects significant progress in designing and clearly documenting the project". The letter went on to say that the EPA appreciates the constructive discussions with all parties involved in moving forward with the mining project plan.

To read the full report and the recommendations from the EPA, click here.

If Polymet's project is approved, it will become Minnesota’s first copper-nickel mine. The $600 million open-pit mine will be located near Babbitt and a processing center at the old LTV taconite mine north of Hoyt Lakes.

Billions of tons of precious metals lie beneath the Duluth Complex, an area that covers parts of St. Louis, Lake and Cook Counties.

The project is expected to create 350 jobs for about the next 20 years. PolyMet also would recover gold, platinum, palladium and other valuable metals.

Frank Ongaro, with Mining Minnesota, says a pair of proposed projects to mine the metals will bring thousands of jobs to the Northland.

"We have them here [precious metals], we can develop them here and it will be a tremendous economic boon to Northeastern Minnesota and the entire state," said Ongaro. "This is a win-win-win opportunity."

There will be a 90 day public comment period with three public hearings in Duluth, Hoyt Lakes and Minnepolis to help craft the final EIS.

Posted to the web by Krista Burns