PolyMet Mining Corp. announced that it has received the draft Environmental Impact Statement (”EIS”) assessing the Company’s proposed mine development project located in the established mining district of the Mesabi Iron Range in northeastern Minnesota. PolyMet controls 100% of the NorthMet copper-nickel-precious metals ore body and owns the nearby Erie Plant.
The draft EIS was prepared by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (”MDNR”) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (”USACE”), jointly the “Lead Agencies”. The Cooperating Agencies that are working with the Lead Agencies and PolyMet include the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and the Grand Portage Band of Chippewa.
The Cooperating Agencies and PolyMet will review and submit any comments to the Lead Agencies. The Lead Agencies will then finalize the document and publish a notice in the state’s Environmental Quality Board Monitor and the Federal Register that a 45-day period for public review and comment has started.
“Receipt of this final review copy of the draft EIS is a major milestone for PolyMet,” stated Joe Scipioni, PolyMet’s President and CEO. “While we have been frustrated by how long it has taken to reach this milestone, we believe that the MDNR has produced a comprehensive document that thoroughly analyzes the potential impacts of the project.”
PolyMet has invested more than $18 million for environmental review and permitting, having provided more than 100 technical documents as the basis for the EIS. Mr. Scipioni stated, “We plan to build and operate this project in a way that is environmentally responsible as well as economically viable.”
Mr. Scipioni continued, “It has taken more than three years of hard work, determination, and patience to reach this point. We really appreciate the continued support of all our employees, our investors, local communities and federal, state, and local leaders as we move into this exciting time for our project.”