The Twin Metals Minnesota Project (TMM Project) is located approximately nine miles southeast of the city of Ely, Minnesota, and 11 miles northeast of the city of Babbitt, Minnesota.
A mining project of this magnitude is brought to life through a multi-year process involving cooperation between multiple public, private and local, state and federal government stakeholders. After the strategic metals deposits were identified by Duluth Metals Limited, the company formed a partnership with Antofagasta plc, and together they founded Twin Metals Minnesota LLC in January 2010.
In February 2011, Twin Metals Minnesota acquired Franconia Minerals Corporation, effectively doubling Twin Metal Minnesota’s mineral and land assets, providing the opportunity for greater efficiency, more jobs and maximum environmental protection for the project.
In January 2015, Antofagasta plc purchased Duluth Metals Limited in a friendly acquisition, placing the TMM Project under Antofagasta’s unilateral control.
During the summer of 2011, Twin Metals Minnesota conducted a “conceptual study,” involving a comprehensive analysis at the strategic level of the initial project proposal, various project alternatives, risk and opportunities, project economics, potential environmental impacts and protections, and social and community impacts and benefits. The results of the conceptual study confirmed the project’s conceptual viability from economic, environmental and social perspectives, and to narrow the range of project options in a variety of areas put forward for more detailed analysis in the prefeasibility study.
Twin Metals Minnesota completed a prefeasibility study (PFS) in June 2014. During the PFS, Twin Metals evaluated significant project details such as environmental protection strategies, proper mine processing technologies, potential facility locations, and estimated economic impacts such as job creation and tax revenues.
In August 2014, Duluth Metals Limited released highlights from a draft National Instrument (NI) 43-101 Technical Report on the TMM Project PFS (PFS Technical Report), with the full Report released in October 2014. The PFS Technical Report was prepared by a multi-company team led by AMEC E&C Services Inc.
The TMM Project offers northeast Minnesota an extraordinary opportunity for long-term, environmentally-sound economic growth and job creation. The TMM Project is supported by financial fundamentals showing an internationally competitive cost position, high margins sustained over time, and capital efficiencies resulting from outstanding existing regional and local infrastructure.
MINE PLAN OF OPERATION (MPO)
The next steps in project development involve further optimizations, detailed engineering, economic and environmental assessment of the project configuration, culminating in the development of a formal “Mine Plan of Operation” (MPO). The MPO proposal will be submitted to state and federal regulatory agencies for extensive environmental review. This stage of the project takes several years and is subject to change during the development of the MPO.
Twin Metals has been conducting environmental studies and assessments for more than five years – and these efforts will continue during development of the MPO. Environmental information from in and around Twin Metals Minnesota’s land and mineral assets will feed into the formal, Draft Environmental Impact Study (DEIS) that will be conducted by state and federal agencies. Key environmental issues include: surface water quality and hydrology, threatened and endangered species, air quality, plant life, wetlands and socioeconomic factors.