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‘I have grave concerns’

"I have grave concerns about the use of state surface lands for mining related activities in close proximity to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). I am not questioning the qualifications of either Twin Metals or its parent company...

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“I have grave concerns about the use of state surface lands for mining related activities in close proximity to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). I am not questioning the qualifications of either Twin Metals or its parent company Antofagasta PLC. Rather my concern is for the inherent risks associated with any mining operation in close proximity to the BWCAW. … 

“The BWCAW is a crown jewel in Minnesota and a national treasure. It is the most visited wilderness in the eastern U.S., and a magnificently unique assemblage of forest and waterbodies, an extraordinary legacy of wilderness adventure, and the home to iconic species like moose and wolves. I have an obligation to ensure it is not diminished in any way. Its uniqueness and fragility require that we exercise special care when we evaluate significant land use changes in the area, and I am unwilling to take risks with that Minnesota environmental icon.”

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, in a March 6 letter to Ian Duckworth, chief operating officer of Twin Metals Minnesota, informing him the Department of Natural Resources had been directed “not to authorize or enter into any new state access agreements or lease agreements for mining operations on those state lands”

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