"Biden Administration Sets a Mining Ban in Boundary Waters Wilderness"

"A 20-year moratorium on new mining activity for more than 225,000 acres of federal land in Minnesota could deal a fatal blow to a proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel mine."

"WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Thursday said it will establish a 20-year moratorium on mining upstream from Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, a vast preserve of lakes and woods that has been at the center of a fierce dispute over a proposed copper and nickel mine.

The plan withdraws from mineral leasing about 225,504 acres of watershed in the Superior National Forest. It could doom a proposed bid from Twin Metals Minnesota LLC, which had sought to build an underground mine in Ely, at the doorstep of the wilderness area. The Biden administration had already canceled the company’s two federal minerals-rights leases, and the new move drastically reduces the chance that the project will be revived.

The company has sued to reinstate the leases, which are critical to its $1.7 billion project, and the moratorium is expected to trigger fresh legal action. Meanwhile Republicans, who now control the House, are seeking to ease federal rules for the mine permitting process, an effort that could also complicate the administration’s plans."

Lisa Friedman reports for the New York Times January 26, 2023.


"Biden Protects Boundary Waters In Blow To Copper Mine" (E&E News)

"Twin Metals Vows To Fight For Mine Near Boundary Waters" (E&E News)


Source: NYTimes, 01/27/2023