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WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) issued the following statement regarding the release of the Department of Interior’s (DOI) 2018 Critical Mineral list:

“This report not only serves as a reminder that Minnesota’s miners play an integral part of our nation’s economy, it highlights the important role they have in protecting national security. While copper and nickel were not included in the list, I am pleased the Department has acknowledged the significant and indispensable nature of these materials, which are used in everyday products such as our cell phones and vehicles and enable modern living through electricity, plumbing, and advanced medical technology. 

“It's time to end our foreign dependence and responsibly mine here at home. Minnesota sits atop the largest untapped copper-nickel deposit in the world, and our state is ready to step up and help unleash America's full mining potential. I look forward to further action from the Department of Interior and this administration to support mining in Minnesota.”


Emmer introduced H.R. 3905, the Minnesota’s Economic Rights in the Superior National Forest (MINER) Act in November 2016. Emmer's bill reverses the misguided, last-minute actions of the Obama Administration to stop any exploration of one of the most valuable precious metal deposits in the world and protects Minnesota’s right to explore and, if environmentally appropriate, mine valuable precious metals.

Then, last December, the Department of Interior reversed a memorandum by the outgoing Obama Administration authorizing discretionary rejections of existing lease renewals. Accordingly, earlier this month, the DOI reinstated leases denied in this manner.

Recently, in April 2018, Congressman Emmer signed a letter to DOI Secretary Zinke requesting listing of copper as a 'critical mineral.' Read the letter here.