Milwaukee, Wisconsin 2021-10-20 12:38:06 –
By STEVEK ARNOWSKI
Minneapolis (AP) —The Biden administration could hit the proposal for a twin-metal copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota on Wednesday, banning mining upstream of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness for 20 years. I ordered a sexual investigation.
The US Forest Department has applied to the Bureau of Land Management for a “mineral withdrawal.” It begins with a comprehensive study of the potential environmental and other implications of the mining industry if allowed in watersheds that flow into boundary waters.
“Places like Boundary Waters should be enjoyed and protected by everyone, not just for today, but for future generations,” Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland said in a statement. “Today, the Biden administration is important to ensure that it has all the science and public opinion needed to make informed decisions about how mining activity will affect this particular place. We are taking wise steps. “
When the Obama administration began a similar process in the last few weeks, it sought to kill the Twin Metal project because of the potential threat to boundary waters from acid mine drainage from underground mines near Erie.
However, the Trump administration canceled its mineral recovery survey 20 months after the 24-month process and reinstated the federal mining rights lease for a project that the Obama administration decided not to renew.
The full practical impact of the new decision on the Twin Metals project was not immediately apparent. According to a statement from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Interior, the order will affect land upstream of the border waters of the Superior National Forest. It prohibits the issuance of new exploration permits or leases for mining-related activities in the area. Authorities said they are currently subject to federal court opposition but will not affect the effective existing rights and activities of private land, including twin metal leases in the area.
“Twin Metals Minnesota is deeply disappointed by the federal government’s action to start another mineral recovery survey on approximately 230,000 acres of land in northeastern Minnesota on the world’s largest known undeveloped copper-nickel deposit. “The company says. statement. “We are working to determine the best path to keep the proposed world-class underground copper, nickel, cobalt, and platinum group metal mines moving forward.”
When Twin Metals, owned by Chilean mining giant Antofagasta, submitted a formal mining plan to federal and state regulators in 2019, the company said its design would prevent acidic drainage and protect the wilderness from pollution. ..
Environmental groups have challenged the allegations and, in cases still pending, in federal court against the renewal of the lease. They welcomed the announcement.
“This is a great first step on the road to permanent protection,” Becky Rom, national chairman of the campaign to save border waters, said in a statement. The next step appropriate for the administration is to cancel the two twin metal leases that the Trump administration has illegally revived. “