What’s next for PolyMet?An 1,800-page document detailing how a proposed PolyMet copper mine near Hoyt Lakes could affect the environment and how it would comply with state and federal regulations is scheduled to be published in 12 days, on Dec. 6.
An 1,800-page document detailing how a proposed PolyMet copper mine near Hoyt Lakes could affect the environment and how it would comply with state and federal regulations is scheduled to be published in 12 days, on Dec. 6. The release of the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement will trigger a public comment period that’s expected to last about three months and include two or three public hearings. Based on feedback, a final document then can be prepared upon which permits, including a permit to mine, can be based and issued.
PolyMet has invested about $150 million over five or six years to get to this point. An initial environmental impact statement was deemed inadequate by federal regulators. PolyMet said it will invest another $450 million to build its mine once permits are acquired. The mine then is expected to operate for 20 years, generating $720 million in wages and benefits, $300 million in state and local government taxes and $10.3 billion for the St. Louis County economy.
“The Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement is the beginning of the end,” PolyMet President and CEO Jon Cherry said in an interview last week with the News Tribune, including with members of the editorial board. “This milestone has been reached. This document has been completed with all this effort and everything that has gone into it. It’s the process. The process is really important.
“Mining in the U.S. and in Minnesota is a legal and lawful activity,” Cherry further said. “However, there’s a set of standards and rules and regulations that we’re obligated to demonstrate that we can meet. That’s on us. That’s what we have to do. And based on the designs that we have, at this point, I’m very confident that we can do that.”