ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP/WCCO) — The Trump administration has resurrected an effort to build the proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota.
Last December, the Obama administration declined to renew the long-standing leases that the company needs for the underground mine it wants to build near Ely. But an in opinion published Friday, a top attorney at the U.S. Interior Department concluded the Bureau of Land Management erred last year when it concluded that BLM had the power to grant or deny the lease renewals.
Minnesota Public Radio News reports the reversal means the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service must reconsider Twin Metals’ 2012 lease renewal application.
Twin Metals said Friday it is still reviewing the new decision. The proposed site sits upstream from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
Gov. Mark Dayton released this statement on the decision:
This shameful reversal by the Trump Administration shows that big corporate money and special interest influence now rule again in Republican-controlled Washington. We will have to uncover why the financial interests of a large Chilean corporation, with a terrible environmental record, has trumped the need to protect Minnesota’s priceless Boundary Waters Canoe Area.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)