MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Court of Appeals on Monday affirmed a decision by a state agency to grant a major permit for the proposed NewRange copper-nickel mine, saying regulators adequately considered the possibility that developers might expand the project in the future.
It was a win for NewRange Copper Nickel, which remains stalled by court and regulatory setbacks. The $1 billion open-pit mine near Babbitt and processing plant near Hoyt Lakes would be Minnesota’s first copper-nickel mine. It’s a 50-50 joint venture between Swiss commodities giant Glencore and Canada-based Teck Resources. The project was renamed NewRange Copper Nickel in February but it’s still widely known by its old name, PolyMet.
The issue in this series of appeals was whether the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency should have looked deeper into whether the developers harbored expansion plans that went beyond what their original permits would allow when regulators issued an air emissions permit for the project in 2019.
The court earlier ordered a closer look. Monday’s ruling said the agency’s updated findings “show that it carefully considered the salient problems” when regulators again concluded there was no reason to deny the permit.
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