EVELETH, Minn. (AP) — The Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board has voted to lend $4 million to PolyMet Mining Corp., which plans to develop a copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota.

The Mesabi Daily News reports the money will come from the Douglas J. Johnson Economic Protection Trust Fund and won’t be affected by a proposal to take $60 million from the fund to balance the state budget.

The development agency approved a similar loan to PolyMet last December, but environmental groups sued to block it. They dropped the lawsuit last month after Gov. Mark Dayton signed legislation to streamline the environmental permitting process, which clarified the board’s authority to make the loan.

The project still needs approval from other state agencies to proceed.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  1. Karol McCracken says:

    I am shocked that the State of Minnesota would allow a copper mine on it’s soil. Wisconsin has a law that no copper mine is allowed in Wisconsin until one, yes just one, copper mine is found in the world that has not caused pollution. Most every, if not all, copper mines in the United States has been deemed a Superfund Site. Let me name them: Anaconda Superfund Site in Nevada; Berkeley Pit near Butte Montana; Vermont Copper Mines; Ely Copper Mine Superfund Site, Vershire, VT; Elizabeth Mine in Vermont; Holden Copper Mine near Chelan, WA.

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