Twin Metals Minnesota Statement on Federal Government Action to Withdraw Federal Lands in NE Minnesota From Future Mining Development
ST. PAUL, Minn., January 13, 2017 – Twin Metals Minnesota issued the following statement in response to today’s announcement by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that the agencies have initiated the process to withdraw more than 230,000 acres of federal land and minerals in Northeast Minnesota from future leasing, exploration and potential development. The USFS and BLM announced plans to pursue the withdrawal action on December 15, 2016, and today announced the filing of a Federal Register notice to begin the withdrawal process.
“Twin Metals is strongly opposed to the federal government’s proposal to withdraw more than 230,000 acres of federal land and minerals in Northeast Minnesota from future leasing, exploration and development. The withdrawal of federal minerals from future development, and the related impacts of negating future development of state and private minerals, will have a devastating impact on the region’s economy, eliminating the promise of thousands of good-paying jobs and billions of dollars in local investment. Especially devastating would be the loss of billions of dollars in potential revenues to the Minnesota Permanent School Trust Fund, which supports K-12 education throughout the state.
The withdrawal proposal is against the long-term public policy for allowing mine development within the Superior National Forest that is outside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Furthermore, it is unnecessary and would provide no additional environmental protections in the region. Mining is already prohibited within the boundaries and surrounding federal buffer zones of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and Voyageurs National Park. The waters of the region are already protected by strict state and federal environmental standards. Given the myriad environmental standards, reviews, financial requirements and enforcement processes already in place, the withdrawal of federal minerals would serve only to deal a devastating blow to northern Minnesota’s economic future.”
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 Northeast 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.