The Twin Metals Project has been halted and is now in jeopardy due to a new study on nonferrous mining in the US Iron Range.
On Wednesday, the Biden administration ordered a study that may lead to a 20-year mining prohibition near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), dealing a severe blow to the planned Twin Metals copper-nickel mine in northern Minnesota, USA.
A thorough assessment of the probable environmental and other effects of mining in the watershed that drains into the Boundary Waters would be the first step in the government’s application for a “mineral withdrawal.”
“This is good news for those who care about clean water. Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness executive director Chris Knopf called the decision “a victory for science, the law, and the millions of individuals who have experienced the beauty of the Boundary Waters.” We must preserve this national resource based on solid scientific grounds, not the whims of business or private interests.” The Biden administration sent a clear indication today that it will follow through on its promise.”
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A congresswoman who has proposed legislation to safeguard the BWCAW from copper mining praised the Biden administration’s statement that it intends to complete a “science-based environmental study.” Betty McCollum.
According to Rep. McCollum, “the Biden administration’s move today is a welcome return to science-based decision making” that should guide the management of public lands. When it comes to this priceless freshwater resource, the biodiverse habitat that it supports, and the economic well-being of the surrounding community. This office is pleased that Vice President Biden is committed to completing a necessary analysis after years of broken promises and obstruction of taxpayer-funded data from the previous administration. This thorough study’s findings will be eagerly awaited by those of us who are passionate about preserving the Boundary Waters for future generations.
After launching a similar procedure in the last weeks of the Obama administration’s tenure, they attempted to put an end to the project by raising concerns about acid mine drainage from the nearby Ely underground mine endangering the Boundary Waters.
In contrast, the Trump administration halted the project’s federal mineral rights leases, which the Obama administration had chosen not to extend 20 months into the 24-month process.
Officials in the Biden administration’s district, including State Rep. Spencer Igo of Grand Rapids, Michigan, have spoken out against the plan.
We can see now that Democrats and the Biden Administration have an apparent disdain for the Iron Range and our way of life,” Igo said. “This action should build President Biden’s efforts to acquire critical minerals required to construct tomorrow’s globe upon copper-nickel mining in northern Minnesota. America’s dependence on foreign nations like China and the Democratic Republic of Congo for the raw materials it needs for its future economy will be forced by this decision. This action further emboldens countries that commit serious human rights and environmental abuses while putting our already strained supply chains at risk.
Twin Metals, a Chilean mining firm controlled by Antofagasta, claimed in 2019 that its design would avoid acid drainage and preserve the wilderness from contamination when it filed its official mine plan to federal and state authorities.
Biden Administration Action to Halt Iron Range Mining: Rep. Igo’s Statement
R-Grand Rapids state representative Spencer Igo released the following statement after learning that the Biden administration is starting a new study on nonferrous mining on the Iron Range, further delaying the Twin Metals project and placing it in jeopardy.
There is no respect for Iron Range towns or our way of life in today’s Democrats or the Biden Administration statement. “The right policy should build President Biden’s efforts to acquire critical minerals required to construct tomorrow’s globe upon copper-nickel mining in northern Minnesota.
If this project is threatened with cancellation, it puts the state and region’s economy in danger of billions of dollars. This choice will have long-term ramifications for our local communities, schools, employees, and the whole Northland economy. The mining industry represents our present history and vision for the future as we strive to realize our most significant potential.