PolyMet Mining closer than ever to getting Iron Range mine operational – by Mike Hughlett (Minneapolis Star Tribune – June 25, 2019)

http://www.startribune.com/

Despite fears over mine’s environmental effect, company is confident

HOYT LAKES, Minn. – After years of planning and contention, the derelict taconite complex in Hoyt Lakes is closer than ever to hosting Minnesota’s first copper-nickel mining operation.

Backed by global-mining giant Glencore, PolyMet Mining Corp.’s executives are courting bankers for nearly $1 billion to finance the project, hoping to start construction next year. New concerns have blown up recently over one of PolyMet’s environmental permits, though the company said it doesn’t expect the mine’s progress to be impeded.

“It’s going to happen,” said Jon Cherry, PolyMet’s CEO. “It is so rare to get a fully permitted mine at this time in the United States.”

Economically, PolyMet’s multimetal approach looks like a winner, analysts say. The mine also plans to kick out platinum, palladium, cobalt and a dash of gold, and that diversity should help PolyMet weather the highly cyclical nature of various metal markets. In the long term, the copper-nickel-hungry electric vehicle market also could help.

Most important is PolyMet’s long and close relationship with the sometimes-controversial Glencore and its global network of minerals smelting and trading.

For the rest of this article: http://www.startribune.com/polymet-mining-closer-than-ever-to-getting-iron-range-mine-operational/511742642/

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