In the News

Poll Shows Strong Support for Copper-Nickel Mining in Northeastern Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn., Nov. 29, 2016 – By large margins northeastern Minnesotans support the development of new copper-nickel mines and oppose new federal restrictions on mining throughout the region. Those are the results of a new survey conducted November 12-14, 2016, across five northeast Minnesota counties and released today by Twin Metals Minnesota and MiningMinnesota.

By greater than a 3-1 margin survey respondents support environmentally-responsible mining in the region. Additionally, by more than 2-1, respondents support the building of new copper-nickel mines and believe copper-nickel mining can be done in an environmentally-responsible way. More than 60 percent support the Twin Metals underground copper-nickel project.

“Support for the mining economy and for the development of copper-nickel mining projects is overwhelming across northeastern Minnesota and the Iron Range,” said Bob McFarlin, Twin Metals spokesperson. “This extraordinary support reflects a strong belief that copper-nickel mining can help revitalize the region’s economy, protect the environment and create jobs for generations of Minnesotans.”

The survey also shows strong opposition to federal agency actions being sought by anti-mining organizations that would restrict future development of federal minerals in the region and block all future mining projects. Seventy percent of those surveyed support continuing to allow access to federally owned minerals in the region, while 60 percent oppose actions by the federal government to prohibit all future mining in the region’s Superior National Forest, and 66 percent oppose any actions by the Obama Administration to permanently withdraw federal lands and minerals in northeastern Minnesota from future development. More than 80 percent of those surveyed support the process of allowing copper-nickel projects to be developed and submitted for “rigorous state and federal environmental review.”

“It is clear that any federal government actions to deny federal mineral leases or to withdraw federal land and minerals from potential development in northeastern Minnesota will be met with strong opposition by the citizens of the region,” said Frank Ongaro, MiningMinnesota executive director. “Federal agencies should recognize that the region strongly supports existing laws and regulations that both protect the environment and allow and encourage the development of copper-nickel mining projects.”

The poll was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies November 12-14, 2016, and surveyed 400 registered voters in Cook, Koochiching, Itasca, St. Louis and Lake counties of northeastern Minnesota. The survey has a 4.9 percent +/- margin of error. The survey was commissioned by Twin Metals Minnesota and released publicly in partnership with MiningMinnesota.

Q. Do you support or oppose environmentally‐responsible mining in Northeast Minnesota?
57% STRONGLY SUPPORT
25% SOMEWHAT SUPPORT
6% SOMEWHAT OPPOSE
6% STRONGLY OPPOSE
5% DON’T KNOW/UNDECIDED
82% TOTAL SUPPORT
12% TOTAL OPPOSE

Q. Generally speaking, do you support or oppose building new copper‐nickel mines in Northeast Minnesota?
42% STRONGLY SUPPORT
23% SOMEWHAT SUPPORT
9% SOMEWHAT OPPOSE
18% STRONGLY OPPOSE
9% DON’T KNOW/UNDECIDED
65% TOTAL SUPPORT
26% TOTAL OPPOSE

Q. Do you support or oppose the Twin Metals project?
33% STRONGLY SUPPORT
29% SOMEWHAT SUPPORT
11% SOMEWHAT OPPOSE
16% STRONGLY OPPOSE
11% DON’T KNOW
61% TOTAL SUPPORT
27% TOTAL OPPOSE

Q. Which statement comes closer to your own opinion?
81% – Potential copper‐nickel mining proposals in Minnesota should be allowed to go through the rigorous state and federal environmental review process, and granted permits if environmental protection standards are met.
…or…
18% – Potential copper‐nickel mining projects are so inherently harmful and risky to the environment that such projects should be prohibited before being proposed.

Q. Which statement comes closer to your own opinion?
64% – Potential copper‐nickel mining projects should be allowed within the boundaries of the Superior National Forest, but outside of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, if those projects meet all state and federal environmental laws and regulations.
…or…
33% – Potential copper‐nickel mining projects are so risky they should be prohibited within the boundaries of the Superior National Forest.

Q. Do you support or oppose the federal government continuing to allow access to federally‐owned minerals for mining in northeast Minnesota?
38% STRONGLY SUPPORT
32% SOMEWHAT SUPPORT
10% SOMEWHAT OPPOSE
14% STRONGLY OPPOSE
4% DON’T KNOW/UNDECIDED
70% TOTAL SUPPORT
25% TOTAL OPPOSE

Q. Currently, along with logging and recreational activities, mining is allowed by federal law within large areas of the Superior National Forest in northeast Minnesota. Would you support or oppose actions by federal agencies to prohibit all future mining in the Superior National Forest?
22% STRONGLY SUPPORT
15% SOMEWHAT SUPPORT
23% SOMEWHAT OPPOSE
37% STRONGLY OPPOSE
3% DON’T KNOW/UNDECIDED
37% TOTAL SUPPORT
60% TOTAL OPPOSE

Q. And, based on what you know, do you support or oppose action by the Obama Administration to permanently withdraw access to federally‐owned minerals located in northeast Minnesota from future development?
19% STRONGLY SUPPORT
12% SOMEWHAT SUPPORT
23% SOMEWHAT OPPOSE
42% STRONGLY OPPOSE
3% DON’T KNOW/UNDECIDED
31% TOTAL SUPPORT
66% TOTAL OPPOSE

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About Twin Metals Minnesota: Twin Metals Minnesota is a Minnesota company focused on developing and operating an underground copper, nickel, platinum, palladium, gold and silver mining project (TMM Project) in the Iron Range region of northeastern Minnesota. Twin Metals is owned by Antofagasta plc, one of the top ten copper producers in the world. The TMM Project is in the early stages of development and offers Minnesota an extraordinary opportunity for long-term, environmentally-sound economic growth and job creation. (See: www.Twin-Metals.com.)

About MiningMinnesota: MiningMinnesota is an industrial trade organization made up of all nonferrous exploration and mineral development companies in Minnesota, along with approximately 100 supplier and vendor businesses, all committed to sustainable and environmentally responsible copper-nickel and PGM mineral development and mining in Minnesota. (See: www.miningminnesota.com.)

Contact:
Bob McFarlin
bmcfarlin@www.twin-metals.com
612-655-2099