On Thursday Twin Metals Minnesota released new project information for its proposed copper-nickel mine near Ely, about one year since its last update.
According to the company website, Twin Metals plans to locate the mine’s processing facilities approximately one mile south of the underground mine location, on Twin Metals-owned land. The site would allow access to the underground mine, which it hopes to access by tunnels at the processing site.
As far as storage for its tailings, Twin Metals said about half of its tailings will be stored in the proposed underground mine as permanent cemented backfill, while the remaining tailings will be stored adjacent to Northshore’s Peter Mitchell Mine, southwest of Babbitt.
The company also plans to expand its office space. Twin Metals currently has an office in Ely, but now plans to open another office in Babbitt.
Based on current estimates, Twin Metals said its project will generate 650 direct jobs.
According to a spokesperson for the company, the new project information does not represent the formal project proposal, and the information is subject to change as the project development process moves forward.
The company plans to submit a formal mine project proposal to state and federal agencies in approximately 18 months.
Doug Niemela of the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters has issued the following statement as a response to Twin Metals’ announcement:
"Chilean-owned mining company, Twin Metals Minnesota, has floated proposals to build a massive and destructive sulfide-ore copper mine on public lands next to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, the country’s only significant lakeland Wilderness. Twin Metals now proposes moving operations even closer to the Boundary Waters.
Sulfide-ore copper mining will pollute the Boundary Waters, result in the loss of thousands of jobs and many businesses in Northeastern Minnesota and across the State, and deprive our children and grandchildren of their wild lands heritage.
Seventy percent of Minnesotans oppose copper mining near the Boundary Waters. Sportsmen and women, business owners, and Boundary Waters users across the country will continue fighting to protect the Boundary Waters from the threat of this toxic mining."
You can read the full update here: