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Twin Metals gets federal mining leases back

Mining News - Published on Tue, 26 Dec 2017

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Dultch Tribune reported that Twin Metals Minnesota will get back its permits to explore for copper on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, and continue working toward a copper mine southeast of Ely, under a decision Friday by the US Interior Department. The move by the Trump administration reverses a decision to hold back the federal mineral leases that was made one year ago by the outgoing Obama administration.

The US Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management withdrew mineral lease agreements from Twin Metals, essentially ending the company's effort to build a more-than USD 2.8 billion mine that would employ up to 850 people.

The federal mineral leases are concentrated near Birch Lake, north and south of Minnesota Highway 1.

The new opinion from the Trump Interior Department's solicitor general concludes that the two leases that Twin Metals has held from the United States for years, passed on from other companies, granted them a non-discretionary right to a third renewal and, therefore, the Bureau of Land Management did not have the discretion to deny Twin Metals' lease renewal one year ago.

Twin Metals and mining supporters said the company should be given the chance to develop its proposal, submit the plan for environmental review and apply for permits based on their own merits, not a generic opposition to mining near the BWCAW.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Tue, 26 Dec 2017
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