Minnesotans deserve a thoughtful, informed and respectful discussion about using the state’s precious natural resources – land, water, woods and metals, including copper, the world’s most reusable metal – in a way that protects the environment and brings economic opportunity to Minnesota.
Learn project facts about some of the most-discussed topics surrounding the PolyMet project on polymetmining.com.
Yes. An example of environmentally responsible non-ferrous mining is next door in Wisconsin. The Flambeau Mine produced copper, gold and silver while protecting the area’s water resources.
Minnesota has one of the world’s largest untapped deposits of copper, nickel and other metals – some 4 billion tons. Copper and nickel are needed not only for everyday living, but also for a green economy that includes wind, solar and other alternative energies. Modern mining techniques make it possible to economically and responsibly mine the state’s rich deposit of these metals – presenting Minnesota with an opportunity for large-scale and enduring economic growth.
Non-ferrous refers to any mineral or natural material that doesn’t contain iron. Non-ferrous mining typically means mining metals like copper, nickel, cobalt, as well as precious metals, including platinum, palladium, gold and silver.
The ore from the PolyMet project contains, on average, less than 1 percent sulfur.
A sulfide is any compound or mineral in which an ion is bonded with sulfur ions. The proposed PolyMet project will mine a metallic sulfide ore – in other words, copper, nickel and precious metals bound together with sulfur ions.
No. According to the U.S. Clean Air Act, the project will be “a minor source of air pollutants, based on engineering design and modeling.” Emissions of common air pollutants like particulates, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides will be far less than other mining operations, power plants and paper mills.
Many years ago, prior to current laws and regulations, mines were largely unregulated and some led to environmental problems. Since then, the government has made substantial changes in regulatory standards. State and federal regulators are reviewing PolyMet’s plan to ensure all activities, including eventual closure, will wisely and responsibly use our state’s rich mineral resources. We will meet these standards by using advanced technology.
You can view the complete SDEIS and fact sheets on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) website.
The agencies are reviewing and responding to all comments. Then, they will revise the document and publish a final EIS for public review. The agencies will use this document to make their Record of Decision (ROD) and Adequacy Decision (AD).
After the ROD and AD, the agencies will be able to formally issue permits, each of which will have had its own public process.
Learn how you can support the project and get involved.
The 90-day public comment period was from Dec. 14, 2013, to March 13, 2014.