Monday, September 12, 2016

Twin Metals sues federal government over right to mine near BWCA Wilderness

Twin Metals Minnesota fired back against the federal government Monday with a lawsuit saying regulators lack the authority to deny it access to copper ore deposits next the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The federal government is considering whether or not to renew Twin Metals' mineral leases for a fiercely contested proposed copper-nickel mine on the Kawishiwi River on the edge of the Boundary Waters. In February, federal regulators announced they would not automatically renew the leases as they have before — a step that echoed concerns of Gov. Mark Dayton and could prove fatal to the mining plan. Instead, they took the unusual step of asking for public comment on whether mining is in the best interest of the Superior National Forest. In the coming months it is expected to announce a decision on whether it will renew the leases or launch a longer environmental review. In a statement released Monday, Twin Metals, a subsidiary of the international mining conglomerate Antofagasta, said, "An essential component of Twin Metals' mineral rights is its entitlement to non-discretionary renewal of these leases. The government has long recognized this renewal right."...more

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