About the project
Poly Met Mining, Inc. (PolyMet) is developing a mine and associated processing facilities for the extraction of copper, nickel, and platinum group elements (PGE) in northeastern Minnesota. The mine will be the first of its kind in the state. The proposed NorthMet Mining Project will be located in the St. Louis River watershed on the eastern edge of the Mesabi Iron Range, about 6 miles south of Babbitt.
The proposed NorthMet Mining Project includes:
- An open pit copper, nickel, cobalt and precious metals mine with adjacent temporary and permanent storage/ stockpiles with containment systems, rail transfer hopper, and a wastewater treatment facility
- A refurbished portion of the former LTV Steel Mining Company processing plant and construction of a new hydrometallurgical plant and residue facility at the plant site
- An upgraded tailings basin and water containment system on the site of the existing LTV tailings basin, and a wastewater treatment plant
- Both additional and refurbished utility infrastructure and rail lines
Environmental Review Process
Prior to the current permitting phase, the proposed NorthMet Mining Project went through an extensive environmental review process. PolyMet submitted its initial project proposal to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in February 2005. In accordance with state and federal laws, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was prepared under the leadership of the DNR, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). The Final EIS was deemed adequate by the DNR in March 2016 marking the end of the state’s environmental review process. EIS decisions for the USACE and USFS are still pending.
In November and December 2018, PolyMet obtained a number of required permits and approvals for their NorthMet Mining Project. Please click on the links below to connect to the permitting webpages of individual regulatory agencies.