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MN DNR continuing work on major projects, despite COVID-19

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HIBBING, MN -- Before COVID-19 there were some big projects taking over headlines in our region, like Twin Metals.

The company is proposing to operate an underground copper and nickel mine near Ely.

Twin Metals' submitted its mine plan of operation to regulatory agencies at the end of 2019.

Once the pandemic hit the U.S. the DNR, like so many others, had to change how they do their jobs but the agency said it hasn't stopped them from getting work done.

The DNR is still in the very early stages in review of the Twin Metals proposal so they said it's manageable via telework, at least for now.

Assistant DNR Commissioner Jess Richards said if they come across aspects of the permitting process that cannot be done virtually, then they'll figure out a way to evolve.

"Certainly if we are at the point in a review process where we would seek public input, we're going to have to think real carefully about how we could provide rhobust and meaningful opportunities for folks to weigh in, but we don't have anything imminent infront of us right now on that front."

The review process includes baseline data collection, impact analysis, and multiple opportunities for public input.

The process is expected to take multiple years to complete.

Kristen Vake

Anchor, Reporter

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