Thursday March 31, 2022

Ely, Minn., March 31, 2022 – Twin Metals Minnesota’s Chief Regulatory Officer Julie Padilla testified today in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources regarding Minnesota’s criticality in our nation’s ability to produce minerals domestically for shoring up American supply chains.

“If this country wants to produce its own nickel, it has to do it in Minnesota,” said Padilla during the hearing. “We can mine here better than anywhere else in the world. But the United States will not be able to do that under the current regulatory process that is unpredictable, subject to political manipulation with changing rules in each administration, and in conflict with the priorities of our nation.”

Julie Padilla, Twin Metals Chief Regulatory Officer, testifies during March 31, 2022 U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on domestic critical mineral supply chains.

The committee, led by Chairman Senator Joe Manchin, met in Washington, D.C., to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing domestic critical mineral mining, processing, refining, and reprocessing. Padilla served as a witness alongside representatives from the mining industry, the U.S. Geological Survey and Securing America’s Future Energy.

Senator Manchin opened the hearing with comments on the United States’ continued reliance on foreign sources of the critical minerals we use, particularly for those needed in clean energy technologies.

“It makes no sense to remain beholden to bad actors when we have abundant resources and manufacturing know-how here in the United States,” Senator Manchin said. “The administration needs to help make responsible mining and refining possible here rather than making it more difficult and challenging.”

Padilla stressed during her remarks that the United States cannot meet its goals on transitioning to electric vehicles or securing domestic supply chains without northeast Minnesota. This area, where Twin Metals has proposed to operate, is home to the world’s largest undeveloped deposit of the minerals needed to address these priorities. Northeast Minnesota contains a stunning 95% of the United States’ nickel resources, 88% of its cobalt, 75% of its platinum group metals and about a third of its copper.

“A domestic source for critical minerals means Minnesota,” Padilla said.

The recent actions taken by the Department of Agriculture to ban mining in northeast Minnesota, in addition to the Department of the Interior’s cancellation of Twin Metals’ long-held mineral leases, were also a focus of Padilla’s comments. Despite the Biden Administration’s call for expanding domestic mining and refining capacity, Padilla emphasized that the actions of the Departments of Agriculture and the Interior run completely contradictory to those calls by attempting to take our nation’s largest source of undeveloped nickel, cobalt and platinum group metals off the table.

In the coming months, Twin Metals will take formal legal action to defend its valid mineral rights, and the company is unwavering in its commitment to bringing an environmentally safe, modern mine to fruition in northeast Minnesota.

A recording of the hearing is archived online here and our full testimony can be viewed below:

Video credit: U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
Senator Joe Manchin, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (left) with witness Julie Padilla, Twin Metals Chief Regulatory Office (right) at March 31, 2022 U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on domestic critical mineral supply chains.

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

Kathy Graul
Manager, Public Relations