MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The parent company for the proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel mine near Ely expects to reach a key milestone in the coming months.

Duluth Metals Limited says its “pre-feasibility” study is progressing well and is scheduled for completion by mid-year. The study will form the basis for a detailed plan for the mine before government environmental reviews and the permit process begin.

READ MORE: Minnesota Weather: Winter Weather Advisory For Northern MN, Cold Temps To Follow

The company also expects to complete an updated estimate this spring on the extent of the nonferrous metals deposits at its site, which it has already called one of the world’s largest untapped reserves of copper, nickel and precious metals.

READ MORE: First Omicron Case Identified In Wisconsin

Twin Metals is expected to be larger than the proposed PolyMet mine near Babbitt, which would be Minnesota’s first copper-nickel mining operation if it wins all the necessary approvals.

MORE NEWS: 5 California Residents Infected with Omicron After Wisconsin Wedding

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)