Otsego, MN – Today, Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) and Congressman Pete Stauber (MN-08) made the following statements after the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued the Notice of Intent to start the environmental review process for Twin Metals’ proposed mineral lease and mine plan of operations.
Congressman Emmer stated, “Today’s announcement that the Bureau of Land Management will prepare an Environmental Impact Study for the proposed Twin Metals Minnesota project is an important step forward in a thorough federal and state environmental review process to establish that we can safely mine copper-nickel in Northern Minnesota. This project stands to bring significant jobs and opportunities to the state, and revitalize the Iron Range. I am grateful that this process is moving forward so we can get one step closer to safely mining in Minnesota, bolstering the economy of our entire state."
Congressman Stauber stated, “I am very pleased to hear that Twin Metals will be allowed to move forward with this first significant step in the environmental review process, and I thank the White House, Interior Department, and Agriculture Department for leading the way on this critical issue.
"Northern Minnesota has the potential to lead the world in producing the critical nonferrous minerals needed for everyday life, renewable energy, and national security. Like we have for centuries with iron, we can source copper, nickel, cobalt, and platinum-group elements under the highest environmental and labor standards in the world, instead of relying on child labor-driven supply chains or rival nations like China and Russia that lack our best national interest. I look forward to Twin Metals completing this Environmental Impact Statement, allowing them to prove that they can safely build and operate this modern, underground mine in an environmentally-friendly way while employing our local, labor-protected workforce."
In addition to Stauber and Emmer, Western Caucus Chairman Gosar, local union leaders, and Twin Metals Minnesota offered the following statements of support:
Western Caucus Chairman, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) said, “The announcement today that BLM is moving forward with the EIS on Twin Metals is welcome news, not just to the people of Minnesota and Twin Metals, but for all of America. Just yesterday we were reading reports how Russian nickel mining company, Nornickel, was pumping waste directly into rivers flowing into the Arctic Sea. It exemplifies the choices we make as Americans; do we leave our nation dependent on Russian nickel for our energy and technology future, or do we develop those resources here at home? The responsible environmental choice is to develop it here, under the world’s best environmental regime, using American workers, creating American wealth and preserving American values."
President of the Iron Range Building and Construction Trades, Mike Syversrud said, “As President of the Iron Range Building and Construction Trades, I am pleased to see the Bureau of Land Management announce the beginning of the environmental review for the Twin Metals project. Last year, Twin Metals signed a Project Labor Agreement with our Iron Range Building and Construction Trades Council. I look forward to this modern, underground mine being built and operated with our local skilled workers."
Business Manager of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49, Jason George said, “Today’s announcement is great news for Minnesota. The Twin Metals project is an incredible opportunity to create good paying union jobs for generations to come. I hope this is the beginning of a fair process that follows science not fear, and that they show the people of Minnesota that we can build and operate this project safely."
Twin Metals Chief Regulatory Officer, Julie Padilla said, “We are encouraged by the BLM’s issuance of the Notice of Intent to enter into a robust environmental review process for our proposed copper-nickel mine in northeast Minnesota. This review will provide the science and the facts that regulatory agencies, tribal governments and the public need to analyze our project. The Twin Metals project offers the opportunity to support families and economic growth in our region in both the near- and long-term, and we’re incredibly proud to be part of this community.”