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Public meeting set on PolyMet permits

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will host a public information meeting April 19 in Aurora on PolyMet Mining's expected application for a state mining permit. The meeting, set to be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in the Mesabi East High Sc...

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The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will host a public information meeting April 19 in Aurora on PolyMet Mining's expected application for a state mining permit.

The meeting, set to be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in the Mesabi East High School, is the first step in the DNR's effort to draft permit details.

PolyMet needs the permit to mine, and more than 20 other state and federal permits, to move ahead with what would be Minnesota's first copper-nickel mine and processing center near Hoyt Lakes.

The DNR will explain its lead role in the state-permitting process and will provide an overview of the proposed mining project and the permit-to-mine process. The meeting will also include a brief summary of the other state permits that may be required for the project.

State agency staff and PolyMet representatives will be available during the open house to answer questions about the permit-to-mine process and other permit processes, such as tailings, dam safety, water quality, air quality, wetlands and others.

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Under state regulations, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Environmental Quality Board, St. Louis County and the cities of Babbitt, Aurora and Hoyt Lakes also have been invited to participate.

Formal public comment on permits will not be taken at this point. But if PolyMet indeed submits applications for permits, agencies will hold public input sessions on draft permit proposals.

State agencies are currently developing a centralized website for the PolyMet permitting process. The website will also include directions on how to sign up for updates on the permitting process.

"We will be prepared to begin submitting permit applications after the state holds this meeting," said Jon Cherry, PolyMet CEO, in a statement released Thursday. "However, the timeline for submitting and obtaining permits will be different for each permit."

Related Topics: MININGIRON RANGEENVIRONMENT
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