Ely, Minn., May 24, 2022 – Today, Twin Metals Minnesota’s Chief Regulatory Officer Julie Padilla was honored to testify in front of the U.S. House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources in opposition to proposed legislation that would be detrimental to the future of northeast Minnesota, H.R.2794 – “Boundary Waters Wilderness Protection and Pollution Prevention Act.” The bill aims to enact a blanket ban on mining in an area of northeast Minnesota, where Twin Metals has proposed to mine, that contains 95% of our nation’s nickel resources, 88% of our cobalt, 75% of platinum group metals and about a third of our copper – all materials we need to produce at a significantly higher rate to meet our clean energy goals.
Led by Chairman Alan Lowenthal of California and Ranking Member Pete Stauber of Minnesota, the hearing allowed Twin Metals to highlight at a national level the advancements of our modern mining industry and the Twin Metals project; the importance of the stringent regulatory process in place to review projects like ours; and the real threat to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness – climate change – and the need for tailored solutions to combat that threat.
“The single most concerning threat to the Boundary Waters is not a modern mining operation – it’s climate change,” said Padilla during the hearing. “Wishful thinking will not stop climate change. Only action will. And that action must include environmentally sensitive, modern mining of our resources where they exist.”
President Biden has set a target of reducing greenhouse gas pollution 50-52% from 2005 levels by 2030, with an additional goal of reaching net-zero emissions economy-wide by 2050. To meet these goals with a commitment to American labor and strong environmental standards, permitting new responsible mining projects must be a domestic priority.
Mining metals like copper, nickel, cobalt, and platinum group metals is critical to our transformation to a clean-energy economy and global carbon reductions.
The World Bank’s 2020 assessment of critical minerals essential to low-carbon technologies predicts we will need to increase cobalt production by 450% by 2050 to meet demands and to increase nickel production by 100% to meet current climate targets established under the Paris Agreement. According to another study published in the journal Global Environmental Change, the global need for copper could increase by an estimated 350% by 2050, with current reserves depleting sometime between 2035 and 2045, as wind and solar energy demands generate an increasing percentage of electricity and more people switch to electric vehicles.
The need for responsibly sourced critical minerals has never been greater, and H.R.2794 would hinder our nation’s ability to develop the vast mineral resources we have in northern Minnesota.
Twin Metals has devoted the last 11 years to developing a mine plan that specifically addresses all of the concerns that have been raised about bringing a mine to fruition in northeast Minnesota. We are proposing an underground mine designed to have minimal surface impact and built with union labor. We have invested in the most environmentally responsible tailings management system – with no dam and no potential for dam failure. We are incorporating renewable energy use and an all-electric vehicle fleet, and our operation will be carbon neutral. There is no potential for acid rock drainage, which is the entire basis of the proposed legislation. The Twin Metals project will not negatively impact the Boundary Waters.
During the hearing, Padilla also stressed that we already have systems in place to determine whether a mining project can be done safely. The state and federal environmental review processes – led by the scientific experts at our government agencies – have been established to exhaustively scrutinize every detail of a company’s mine proposal, its location and its surrounding environment.
“Ultimately, if this bill becomes law, it will prevent- not support- scientific inquiry. This is the wrong legislation at the wrong time” Padilla said.
About Twin Metals Minnesota: Twin Metals Minnesota is a Minnesota company focused on designing, constructing and operating an underground copper, nickel, cobalt and platinum group metals mining project in northeast Minnesota. The TMM project brings the promise of significant long-term jobs and environmentally responsible economic development for generations in Minnesota. Twin Metals is owned by Antofagasta plc, one of the top ten copper producers in the world. For more information, visit
Manager, Public Relations