On Wednesday, the Bureau of Land Management renewed mineral rights leases for the proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel mine near Ely that would bring thousands of jobs, billions of dollars of economic growth, and substantial tax revenue to northeastern Minnesota.
Following the announcement, Senator Justin Eichorn (R-Grand Rapids) released the following statement:
“This is great news for the residents of northeastern Minnesota and an opportunity for our regional economy to grow and thrive within the next few years. The myth used to be that a strong industrial economy meant compromising the environment around us, but with modern technological advances, we know that is a false narrative. I’m encouraged by this development and will continue to fight at the state level for additional opportunities that support further economic prosperity in our region.”
The Bureau of Land Management first announced its plans to formally renew the leases in December. That came after President Trump’s administration lifted a roadblock to renewing the leases that was imposed late during the Obama administration.
The Bureau said in December that it planned to impose updated stipulations on the leases from the U.S. Forest Service to mitigate risks to water resources and wilderness areas.
A recent report found responsibly mining Minnesota’s copper, nickel, cobalt, and titanium resources would add $3.7 billion to Minnesota’s economic output and support 8,500 jobs and generate nearly $200 million in state and local tax revenue. Twin Metals still must submit a formal mine plan, go through an environmental review, and obtain permits before beginning construction but plans to in the coming months.