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...Rep. McCollum doesn’t acknowledge that the process is being followed

Dear Editor:
Anti-mining groups and politicians rail against copper nickel mining, but never mention the six-year EIS that was already completed in 2012.
In December 2016, President Obama signed an executive order to withdraw 234,328 acres of land in the Superior National Forest from mining exploration and denied Twin Metals the renewal of their leases.
They never mention that according to the Federal Register, a study was to take ‘up to 2 years’ to determine if a 20-year ban should be placed on future mining and exploration.
When President Trump took office in January 2017, the two-year study began. It ended in 21 months with no new science to require a 20-year ban of copper nickel mining.
Rep. McCollum doesn’t acknowledge that the process is being followed, not only by Twin Metals, but also by the Trump Administration. The ones continually side-stepping the process are the anti-mining groups, politicians like McCollum, and now Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, and the Obama Administration who never asked for input from state, county, or city officials, or had a public comment period before signing the executive order withdrawing thousands of acres from future mining. There was no transparency to this action in the last month of Obama’s presidency.
McCollum and the anti-mining groups ignore the National Materials and Minerals Policy, Research and Development Act—referred to as the “Minerals Policy Act.” At the time, Democrats held a solid majority of both houses, and President Jimmy Carter signed the act into law in 1980.
The Minerals Policy Act clearly states we must simultaneously protect the environment and develop minerals:
The Federal Government, as a fundamental aspect of national minerals policy, must seek balance between the environmental, health and safety statutes and regulations…and the need to ensure the reliable availability of strategic and critical minerals.
In other words, the law mandates a balance between mining and the environment, and directs the Secretaries of Agriculture and Interior to consider the vital importance of minerals and give equal weight to mineral production and environmental protection.
It should be noted that the Rainy River Gold Mine, between Baudette, MN and Fort Frances, Ontario is in the very same Rainy River Watershed as Twin Metals’ proposed underground mine. Also ignored by all is the fact that the high sulfide Dunka Pit has been monitored since 1977 without any impact to Birch Lake or to the Boundary Waters. In fact, Cleveland Cliffs-Dunka Pit recently received an award from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for its wastewater treatment.
Twin Metals formally received the renewal of their mineral leases and we thank the Trump administration, the Western Caucus, U.S. Representatives Pete Stauber and Tom Emmer in getting this done.
Twin Metals has been researching the deposit, the geology, and the surface and groundwater in the area of the potential underground mine. Based on hundreds of millions of dollars of research, they are confident that the tailings produced will be non-acid generating. In addition, waste rock will be stored underground and surface impacts will be minimized.
Twin Metals will be submitting their underground mine plan to state and federal regulatory agencies in the coming months. A lengthy and costly multi-year EIS will then be conducted.
Today’s environmental regulations tightly restrict how mines are designed and operated. State and federal agencies require strict adherence to regulations surrounding key environmental issues, including surface water and groundwater quality, threatened and endangered species, air quality, plant life, wetlands and more. The Twin Metals Project must meet or exceed environmental requirements and receive permits to be authorized to move their project forward.
We should allow the process to move forward.
Working together for future generations.
Nancy McReady - CWCS-Conservationists with Common Sense, President
Gerald Tyler - Up North Jobs, Chairman
Mike Cole - Minnesota Miners, CEO

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