Safe & Clean Water

Protecting natural resources

The PolyMet project, a copper-nickel mining project (sometimes mischaracterized as sulfide mining because it involves extracting metals from sulfide ore), is undergoing a tough, but fair, environmental review and permitting process. State and federal agencies are required to evaluate and approve our plan before the project can receive permits for construction and operation. This ensures PolyMet minimizes the project impact on Minnesota’s environment and natural resources.

To protect air and water quality, PolyMet is carefully assessing energy efficiency and potential environmental impacts related to all processes, equipment, products and materials. We are using modern mining technology and operating practices, including reverse osmosis, a water collection and treatment facility, and hydrometallurgical processing.

Minnesotans will have multiple opportunities to review and discuss our plan during public meetings with regulators. We value these ongoing conversations, encourage people to get involved, and appreciate questions and feedback.

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PolyMet will use advanced water treatment technology to ensure all mine-related water is clean and safe.

Clean water:

Clean Air

  • Water that has come in contact with ore or waste rock that contains sulfur will not be discharged until it’s been treated and tested to ensure it’s clean and safe to return to the environment and ecosystems that depend on it.
  • Mine-site water will be treated at an on-site treatment plant before being reused in the process.
  • Our process will separate waste rock according to its sulfur content. Each waste rock stockpile will have an engineered containment system to collect water and ensure it gets treated.
  • Containment systems are widely and effectively used at mining and mineral processing sites and other waste management facilities all over the world.

Clean air:

Clean Air

  • We will install new, efficient air-emission controls that exceed regulatory requirements.
  • PolyMet assessed air-quality impact of our project on regional scenic and recreational areas, like the BWCA, Rainbow Lake Wilderness and other national parks, and determined the project will not deteriorate air quality or negatively impact area ecosystems.
  • Smart project design means our mining operations will be only a minor source of air pollutants.