Good News! Interior Department Reinstates Leases for Twin Metals Minnesota Mine Project

The Star Tribune reports the U.S. Department of the Interior reinstated the Twin Metals Minnesota mineral leases from 2004 and its application for new leases. In doing so, Twin Metals will be allowed to continue mineral exploration activities for its proposed copper and nickel facility.

The leases were cancelled by the Obama administration in December of 2016 in a flurry of midnight environmental regulations the administration enacted before President Trump was sworn into office.

These regulations included delaying the Dakota Access Pipeline and rushing through mileage standards for automobiles, two decisions that have also reversed by the Trump administration.

Renewing the leases does not necessarily mean the project will go forward. However, the reversal will allow Twin Metals to continue its economic and environmental due diligence. The final project would be subject to a multiyear environmental review process by multiple government agencies.

The reversal is a win for evidence-based environmental policy and potentially, Minnesota’s economy.

If constructed, the Twin Metals project could eventually create 850 full-time jobs, and the economic ripple effect of the project could support another 1,700-1,900 jobs in the area.