Newly-elected Minnesota 8th-District Congressman Chip Cravaack met recently with company officials, regulatory agencies, and elected officials in an attempt to expedite PolyMet Mining’s proposed copper-nickel mine near Babbitt, MN.
The Duluth News Tribune covered the closed-door meeting HERE.
Cravaack, who last November defeated Jim Oberstar who held the 8th-district seat for 36 years, wants the $600-million project which expects to employ 400 people for 20 years to get underway as soon as possible. Cravaack told the News Tribune that successful copper and precious metal mining in Minnesota was a national security matter.
The project is in the middle of a second environmental review, completion of which is expected later this year.
In related news, Minnesota state representative Tom Rukavina says he will introduce legislation to roll back sulfate limits in lakes and rivers where wild rice grows. The northeastern Minnesota legislator says current limits are not based on solid science and would hamstring proposed copper-nickel mining projects as well as affect ongoing taconite operations.
The News Tribune has that story HERE.
Rukavina says he is considering using the 250 milligrams per liter state standard for drinking water in his legislation to rescind the 10 milligrams per liter current limit for wild race waters. The current limit is already the focus of THIS Chamber of Commerce suit.
Environmental groups and Ojibwe tribal officials want the current limits to remain in force. PolyMet Mining officials say they can meet the current standards.