ST. PAUL, Minn. – The environmental impact statement on the Polymet-proposed copper-nickel mine project was released Friday by the DNR, the next step in the development of a $650 million project that would create an estimated 350 direct jobs, 1000 indirect jobs and 500 construction jobs. The report, which has been in development for 10 years, represents a thorough and independent analysis of the impact of the project which would meet all state environmental standards.
Chair of the Senate Environment, Economic Development, & Ag Finance Committee, Sen. David Tomassoni (DFL-Chisholm) says that this is a big step to moving the project forward.
“The long-awaited release of the environmental impact statement proves that the Polymet mine can be built and operated in a way that will not only bring jobs to our region, but that it can be done in a way that is environmentally safe and stable. This project will be an asset for Minnesota, and is valuable for the whole country in providing a domestic source of minerals and resources that are needed for our next generation of technology like wind turbines, cellphones, computers, solar panels, catalytic converters, GPS systems and even our military’s weapon’s guidance systems not to mention copper wire, copper pipes and stainless steel,” said Sen. Tomassoni.
Tomassoni also added that the precious metals deposit in Minnesota is one of the largest in the world and will also have a huge economic impact on the entire state. “By utilizing the former LTV taconite plant for processing the ore, it will essentially be a massive recycling project on a current brown field with a tailings pond already in place. We have been mining for 130 years. It is our life line so taking care of our environment where we work, live and play is as essential as the good paying jobs the industry provides. Although there are several more steps in the process including the actual permitting, I’m looking forward to seeing this project become a reality,” said Sen. Tomassoni.
Several more steps are needed for the project to get the greenlight. The public has 30 days to comment on the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), and two federal agencies have to complete other pieces of the review, while Polymet prepares to submit permits to mine.