A watchdog group has sued the Trump administration for documents related to mining leases returned to Twin Metals, the copper mining project proposed near Ely, in 2017, reversing a move by the Obama administration.
American Oversight said the lawsuit was aimed at uncovering what influenced the decision, including if it was impacted by the fact that President Donald J. Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner are renting a Washington home owned by Chilean billionaire Andronico Luksic, whose family controls Antofagasta, the Chilean global mining giant that owns a 100 percent interest in the Twin Metals
“Whether it’s booking hotel suites, granting trademarks, or renting out their D.C. mansion, lobbyists and foreign interests have made it a priority to develop generous financial relationships with the Trump family,” Austin Evers, executive director of American Oversight, said in a statement. “The public has a right to know if the first family is using its political influence to return the favor.”
Twin Metals' mineral leases were rescinded by the Obama administration in 2016 as the U.S. Department of Agriculture said it was too close to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The leases were returned by the Trump administration in May 2018 and renewed for another 10 years just last month.
Twin Metals still needs to undergo a lengthy regulatory process, including an environmental review and permitting.
Twin Metals said it could submit a formal mine proposal this year.