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MN Supreme Court: nonferrous mining rules valid

ST. PAUL, MN — Another update in the on-going PolyMet legal disputes with environmental groups.

On Tuesday, the Minnesota State Supreme Court said they won’t hear a petition for review by environmental groups regarding the state’s non-ferrous mining rules.

This comes after environmental groups petitioned the court to review a unanimous decision made by the Court of Appeals in August.

The groups argued that the Department of Natural Resources’ mining rules were invalid, but the Court of Appeals disagreed and upheld the agency’s nonferrous mining rules.

PolyMet’s President and CEO Jon Cherry released a statement in response to the court’s decision.

“The state has some of the strictest environmental regulations in the country, and we’ve proven that we can meet those standards,” said Cherry. “We are very pleased with this outcome.”

While Tuesday’s decision stands, PolyMet’s legal challenges aren’t over.

Last week the Minnesota Court of Appeals chose to maintain its suspension of two key permits for the proposed copper-nickel mine.

After hearing oral arguments from PolyMet, the DNR, and environmental groups in opposition the three-judge panel said a stay on the project’s Permit to Mine and its Dam Safety Permit will remain in place until it rules on the merits of challenges to the permits.

Those challenges include Glencore becoming a majority shareholder and a tailings dam failure in Brazil.

The Court of Appeals typically decides cases within 90 days of hearing oral arguments.

Kristen Vake

Anchor, Reporter

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