Twin Metals’ leases restored

Interior Department reverses Obama edict, revives mining project

by Tom Coombe -

A year after the Obama Administration put up a giant-sized roadblock, the Trump Administration removed it and reopened the path for Twin Metals Minnesota to develop a copper-nickel mine near Ely.
In a Dec. 22 ruling, the United States Department of Interior reversed course and will allow Twin Metals to renew mineral exploration leases that were taken away just over a year ago and stopped the project in its tracks.
The move marked a pendulum shift in the increasingly contentious debate over copper-nickel mining projects in northeastern Minnesota.
Mining supporters were enthused while opponents were enraged, with Gov. Mark Dayton calling the opinion issued by the Interior Department’s Solicitor General “a disgrace.”
Ely Mayor Chuck Novak, meanwhile, hailed the decision.
“The Bureau of Land Management delivered a welcome Christmas present to the majority of residents in Ely...

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