NEWS RELEASE: Glencore announces acquisition of 31,756,979 common shares of PolyMet and repayment of Bridge Loan

BAAR, Switzerland, July 5, 2013 /CNW/ – Glencore Xstrata plc announces that its indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary, Glencore AG (“Glencore”) has acquired 31,756,979 common shares of PolyMet Mining Corp. (“PolyMet”) at US$0.66 per common share pursuant to its basic subscription privilege and additional subscription privilege under PolyMet’s previously announced rights offering (“Rights Offering”), representing approximately 11.6% of PolyMet’s issued and outstanding common shares following the Rights Offering.

Following completion of the Rights Offering, Glencore holds 78,724,821 common shares representing approximately 28.6% of PolyMet’s issued and outstanding common shares. The Rights Offering triggered the customary anti-dilution provisions of PolyMet’s convertible debenture exchange warrant and purchase warrants held by Glencore. The numbers of common shares issuable to Glencore under the convertible debenture exchange warrant and purchase warrants have been adjusted to 24,083,366 and 6,458,001, respectively, which, if exercised, would result in Glencore holding 109,266,188 common shares representing approximately 35.8% of the outstanding common shares of PolyMet on a partially diluted basis.

In connection with the closing of the Rights Offering, PolyMet repaid the principal amount and all outstanding accrued and unpaid interest thereon of the previously announced US$20 million loan (“Bridge Loan”) advanced by Glencore to PolyMet on April 11, 2013.

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Pepin County: A ready template for sand mine regulation – by Minnessota Star Tribune Editorial (July 4, 2013)

The refrain heard over and over again in Minnesota’s pitched political battle over frac sand mining this year was: “We don’t want to be Wisconsin.”

Just across the border lie leveled bluffs, groundwater-draining processing facilities and communities choked by truck congestion — the result of Wisconsin’s mine-first, ask-questions-later regulatory approach to sand mining. But because of the farsighted work done by a courageous county on that state’s western edge — declaring a 12-mile strip of bluff­land a frac-free zone — Minnesotans who want to ensure that sand mining is done responsibly should now look east for examples of what to do, instead of only what not to do.

“Other folks can do this,’’ said Bill Mavity, a retired Twin Cities attorney who now lives in Pepin County, serves on the County Board and played a critical role in crafting the frac-free zoning ordinance, thought to be the first of its kind. Protections like this “are increasingly important because of how large the industry is that is coming and the clout and the power that they have.’’

A legislative session in which ­Minnesota lawmakers steadily whittled down new state-level safeguards to the bare minimum should especially prompt southeast Minnesotans to give serious scrutiny to Pepin County’s proactive measure.

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Local view: Investment proves merit of Northland copper mines – by Frank Ongaro (Duluth News Tribune – June 30, 2013)

Frank Ongaro is the executive director of MiningMinnesota.

Minnesota’s business climate received a significant boost recently when two of the state’s proposed copper, nickel and precious metals mining projects secured more than $50 million in long-term financing. Investors throughout the world are recognizing that the strategic metals deposits found in Northeastern Minnesota represent a world-class economic opportunity for our state.

PolyMet Mining, the developer of the Northmet Project near Hoyt Lakes, received a $20 million bridge loan from Glencore International PLC, based in Switzerland, to pay for operations while a $60 million stock offering is completed. Duluth Metals, the majority partner in the development of the Twin Metals Project

in the Babbitt/Ely area, received a $30 million investment from CEF (Capital Markets) Limited, a subsidiary of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd.

These investments provide more than important capital; they provide independent validation of the quality of the projects proposed. Smart investors will invest only in projects that are likely to succeed, and that means projects that will meet and exceed all state and federal environmental standards and regulations.

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Duluth Minnesota mining project holds promise for northern suppliers – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – June 2013)

Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North.

The copper-nickel-PGM property being developed by Duluth Metals isn’t located in Northern Ontario. You can’t even find it in Canada. But a recent Sudbury appearance to SAMSSA Members by Duluth’s president and CEO, Vern Baker, attracted a packed house based on the potential it holds for northern supply and service companies.

Located in Northern Minnesota along the north shore of Lake Superior, Baker predicts the Twin Metals Minnesota (TMM) complex (a joint venture with Chile’s Antofagasta plc) will become one of the world’s major mining districts over the next five to 10 years because of the massive potential tonnages and the types of ore to be found there.

“We have a huge opportunity just in the quantity of metal that’s available,” said Baker, who puts TMM on the same scale as some of the largest copper mines in South America. “It’s got some very distinct similarities to Sudbury and some very distinct differences.”

Duluth’s January 2013 NI 43-101 resource report indicates 13.6 billion pounds of copper, 4.4 billion pounds of nickel, 5.6 million ounces of platinum, 12.7 million ounces of palladium, and 3.1 million ounces of gold. It infers another 11.9 billion pounds of copper, 4.1 billion pounds of nickel and 12.8 million ounces of total precious metals.

The company has spent $200 million on the project to date, and Baker estimates that could rise to between $1.5 billion and $2 billion.

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Minnesota must keep a close eye on sand mining – (Minneapolis Star Tribune – June 22, 2013)

Even in a legislative session marked by pitched battles over taxes, the health care exchange and child care unionization, the debate over how to regulate an industry poised for rapid growth in southeastern Minnesota — frac sand mining — stood out in emotion and intensity.

In packed Capitol hearing rooms, citizens and local government officials from this environmentally fragile part of the state pleaded for a mining moratorium and broad state regulatory authority to protect scenic bluffs, cold-water trout streams and picturesque towns. Industry advocates championed mining’s economic development potential as demand grows for the region’s desirable sand — a key ingredient in hydraulic fracturing, a process used to unlock deposits of oil and natural gas.

Over the course of the session, sweeping environmental protections such as a moratorium or a sensible ban on mining within a mile of region’s trout streams fell by the wayside, a testament to industry lobbying strength.

But a deal brokered late in the session with Gov. Mark Dayton’s leadership yielded smaller, yet potentially valuable new safeguards. Among them: a new permitting role for the state Department of Natural Resources for mining operations proposed near sensitive trout streams, the creation of air quality rules for particulate emissions by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and development of “model ordinances” to help local government, which still shoulders much of the responsibility in the state for approving sand mines, to better regulate the industry.

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Mining in Minnesota — regulation needed – by Rolf Westgard (Minneapolis Star Tribune – June 21, 2013)

Rolf Westgard is a professional member of the Geological Society of America and is adjunct faculty on energy subjects for the University of Minnesota’s Lifelong Learning program.

This is a potentially significant industry for the northeastern part of the state. Regulation is needed, and can succeed.

Josephine Marcotty’s June 16 article “Minnesota’s next mining boom” focused on the environment-vs.-economics dispute that hangs over Minnesota’s world-class deposits of copper, nickel, cobalt, gold and platinum group elements.

They lie in a band, meandering from southwest to northeast, adjacent to the Archean granite of Minnesota’s Iron Range. They arrived more than a billion years ago in the magma that featured northern Minnesota’s active volcanic history. They are concentrated out of the magma by liquid sulfur, which acts as a “collector,” because these elements prefer the sulphide liquid to the magma by a factor of 1,000 times more. This process is responsible for forming the world’s economically mineable magmatic nickel-copper sulphide deposits, like those found in Canada, Russia and the United States.

Demand for these elements is soaring. One reason is their use in renewable energy systems that provide transmission, rechargeable batteries and wind turbine technology.

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Our view: ‘Eyes wide open’ on metals mining – Duluth News Tribune Editorial (June 19, 2013)

A guest speaker in Duluth yesterday long has been a dark cloud over any prediction of economic benefit related to the coming mining of precious metals in northern Minnesota.

A guest speaker in Duluth yesterday long has been a dark cloud over any prediction of economic benefit related to the coming mining of precious metals in northern Minnesota. And he was brought here by Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, a Minneapolis-based anti-mining nonprofit.

So the expectation, naturally, was for a mining-is-evil message. And that’s just what Thomas Power, a Princeton-educated economics professor of 40 years at the University of Montana, delivered. But at least he did so with a history lesson rather than with half-truth propaganda or with picket-sign catch phrases that too often have been the weak tools of the doom-and-gloom, anti-mining crowd.

“My message is to go in with eyes wide open,” Power told the News Tribune Opinion page before speaking over the lunch hour Tuesday at Clyde Iron. “I’ve been doing economic research and teaching courses on Montana’s and on the western states’ economies for 45 years. … It wasn’t possible to study the Montana economy without paying attention to the mining part of it.”

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Copper mining economics questioned by Montana economist – by John Myers (Duluth News Tribune – June 19, 2013)

University of Minnesota Duluth geologists call it the largest untapped copper-nickel deposit in the world, with millions of tons of valuable metals worth billions of dollars sitting in the Duluth complex of rock under Minnesota’s Arrowhead.

University of Minnesota Duluth geologists call it the largest untapped copper-nickel deposit in the world, with millions of tons of valuable metals worth billions of dollars sitting in the Duluth complex of rock under Minnesota’s Arrowhead.

Supporters and economic reports point to hundreds of new mining jobs if Minnesota’s first-ever copper mines become a reality, along with spinoff employment, huge payrolls and millions in taxes and royalties paid. Mining, already one of Northeastern Minnesota’s largest industries thanks to taconite iron ore, has the potential to become even bigger with copper, nickel, palladium, platinum and gold.

But Thomas Power, former chairman of the University of Montana’s economics department, warned Northland residents Tuesday to be careful in the rush into copper.

At a Duluth lunch forum sponsored by the Friends of the Boundary Waters environmental group, the professor said mining’s economic costs are often overlooked in the luster of a promised boom time. He said many economic reports released around proposed mining projects are ripe with benefits but fail to address costs. That should cause economists, and the public, to bristle, he said.

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Minnesota’s next mining boom has picturesque Ely divided – by Josephine Marcotty (Minneapolis Star Tribune – June 16, 2013)

ELY, Minn. – Every year Randy Stender and his family spend Memorial Day weekend at Birch Lake Campground, a tradition that ties him to the wild, unspoiled lands here on the edge of the Iron Range where he grew up. There was a time, he says, when he and his wife would have moved back — if there had been a job like the one his father once had at Reserve Mining.

So when he heard that Birch Lake’s shoreline could become the site of one of the largest copper mines in the country, he immediately grasped the conflict gripping this charming tourist town and spreading across Minnesota. “That’s the catch,” he said, opening his arms wide to the lake that shimmered in the morning light. “Because I kind of like it like this.”

The prospect of a massive new mining industry here is igniting long-simmering tensions — between those who long for the surge in prosperity it could bring and those who say it threatens the splendor of the North Woods and the tourism that relies on it.

At least a dozen companies are exploring for copper, nickel, gold and other precious metals in a vast geological formation called the Duluth complex, which stretches from Tamarack, Minn., to the nearby Kawishiwi River that feeds the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Company officials say hard-rock mining can — and will — be done safely, while creating thousands of jobs and spawning a new industry that could someday dwarf the state’s taconite and frac sand mining operations.

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Civil War Pretty Much Declared in Ely over [Minnesota Twin Metals] Sulfide Mining – by Bill Hanna Executive Editor (Mesabi Daily News – June 8, 2013)

ELY — A well-known self-described “612-er” pretty much issued a declaration of civil war in Ely over copper/nickel/precious metals mining on a cloudy and misty Saturday afternoon a week ago.

In combative remarks during an event to officially open the “Sustainable Ely” storefront in a house on the city’s main drag of Sheridan Street, former WCCO Twin Cities TV reporter/personality Don Shelby issued some marching orders directed against the proposed Twin Metals Minnesota nonferrous project near Ely and Babbitt.

Meanwhile, Twin Metals continues its work and involvement in the community, with one of its headquarters in Ely, while planning and setting the stage for a major project that will create more than 1,000 long-term jobs.

A group of more than 100 anti-sulfide mining supporters packed inside the house’s lower level were more than receptive to his comments, nodding in agreement and clapping in support. They embraced the hard-line message, many of them with stern facial expressions.

Shelby, who is also a board member of the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, which is headquartered in St. Paul, told the faithful that they won’t have to just fight the mining companies over proposed nonferrous projects in the area.

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Copper-nickel mining divides Ely [Minnesota] residents – by Dan Kraker (Minnesota Public Radio – May 31, 2013)

ELY, Minn. — The polarizing divide over the future of mining around Ely will be on display this weekend, when an anti-mining group opens shop on Sheridan Street, the canoeing mecca’s main drag.

Workers in the new center, dubbed “Sustainable Ely,” will encourage tourists to take action urging President Barack Obama to protect the region’s environment from copper-nickel mining. They also want people to urge Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration to expand a mining protection zone around the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

Down the street from tourist shops like Mostly Moose and Loony’s Northwoods Emporium, the new center houses a shiny Wenonah canoe dotted with several signatures scrawled in black marker. Anti-mining activists aim to gather thousands more.

“We hope to portage this down the mall in Washington, D.C., and present it to President Obama, and ask him to protect the Boundary Waters watershed from sulfide ore mining,” said Becky Rom, a retired attorney who is among nearly 100 contributors to the center.

Although the center’s organizers see mining as a major environmental threat, many in town believe it copper-nickel mining can be done safely and jumpstart the region’s economy.

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New center in Ely will fight copper mining – by John Myers (Duluth News Tribune – April 21, 2013)

Just down the road from the offices of the Twin Metals copper mining company, a group of Ely business people are about to open a new “action center” on the city’s main street aimed at persuading those who drop in to take action against copper mining.

Just down the road from the offices of the Twin Metals copper mining company, a group of Ely business people are about to open a new “action center” on the city’s main street aimed at persuading those who drop in to take action against copper mining.

A fundraiser last week for the new “Sustainable Ely” center drew 65 people, mostly area residents and business people who say that the risk of environmental damage caused by copper mining in the Boundary Waters watershed isn’t worth the promised jobs and economic boost.

“We’ve got a good start. We raised $4,500 already for this grass-roots effort,” said Steve Piragis, an Ely canoe outfitter who’s helping organize the effort. “This is an idea we’ve had for a couple years. Now we have the energy and the building to do it.”

The new center underscores the chasm in Ely and across the Northland between residents who support copper mining jobs coming to town and those who want to keep the new kind of mining out of northern Minnesota.

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The Duluth [nickel/copper/PGMs] monster – by John Chadwick (International Mining – February 2013)

John Chadwick looks at the Duluth Complex and in particular the leading positions of PolyMet and Duluth Metals. Duluth has described the complex as holding “one of the world’s largest undeveloped strategic metals deposits of it’s kind”

Duluth Metals massive potential in Minnesota was described in the December 2012 Leader. Let’s take a more detailed look at what is there. The industry has perhaps not yet realised the magnitude of the work being done and discoveries made by Duluth Metals here.

Duluth Metals’ strategy is to “systematically explore and develop copper-nickel-PGM deposits in the north of the US State of Minnesota.” With its partner Antofagasta (which holds 40%, with Duluth holding 60%) it is progressing Twin Metals Minnesota’s project through feasibility into production.

Twin Metals is focused on three deposits, Spruce Road, Maturi and Birch Lake (running northwest to southeast) in the northern part of the Duluth Intrusive Complex. These deposits are located in a zone of copper-nickel-PGM mineralisation occurring near the base of the complex at depths of 130 m to 1,300 m. Bechtel will deliver a very detailed prefeasibility study (enabling fairly quick progress to a BFS) in 2014. Bechtel Engineering was instructed to prepare the NI-43-101 PFS on the Twin Metals (formerly known as Nokomis) project based on the following parameters:

■ A vertically integrated mining complex

■ Large scale phased underground mine plan and development

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When the big just keeps getting bigger – Duluth releases new metals resource – by Lawrence Williams ( -December 7, 2012)

A significant increase in the enormous Twin Metals polymetallic resource in Minnesota, and identified higher grade zones, means the project economics just look like getting better and better

LONDON (MINEWEB) – With the release of an updated NI 43-101 compliant resource, Duluth Metals is just confirming the massive scale, and strategic mineral content, of the ground which falls under its Twin Metals jv with Antofagasta on the Duluth Metals complex in eastern Minnesota.

What is perhaps most impressive with regard to the future potential of the resource is that it only relates to around 11% of the ground controlled by the jv.

And from Duluth’s own viewpoint it is a resource which does not form part of its additional wholly-controlled ground holdings in the area where it has just started an exploration drilling programme, with four drill rigs turning.

But, coming back to the Twin Metals jv resource, the latest Indicated resource figures come out as containing an enormously impressive 13.7 billion lbs of copper, 4.4 billion lbs of nickel, and 21.2 million ounces of palladium+platinum+gold (TPM).

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Chamber and Unions unite to push for Duluth Complex base/precious metals mines – by Lawrence Williams ( – November 20, 2012)

Mining on the environmentally sensitive Duluth Metallurgical complex in Minnesota is gleaning strong local support from a union/Chamber of Commerce alliance.

LONDON – In what must be a welcome development for prospective miners, PolyMet and Duluth Metals, Minnesota’s Chamber of Commerce and local mining unions will be mounting a combined campaign to try to ensure that mining of what has to be one of the world’s most significant mineral deposits, is given the go-ahead by state and federal bodies.

According to a report in the Duluth News Tribune, The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, the state’s largest business group, and the Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council have formed “Jobs for Minnesotans” to promote development of the state’s first-ever massive base and precious metals mining operations on the Duluth Metallurgical Complex which hosts one of the world’s largest potential polymetallic orebodies and which could see large scale mining for the next century, with its associated employment and tax benefits for the state and federal economies.

The Duluth Complex hosts an enormous resource of relatively low grade polymetallic mineralisation, which in combination represents perhaps the world’s largest ever discovery of an orebody containing copper, nickel, cobalt, pgms and gold – and Polymet and the Duluth Metals 60:40 jv with Antofagasta – the Twin Metals project – are the two most advanced projects on the Complex at the moment. However the area where these enormous deposits is hosted lies in an environmentally sensitive locality between the Boundary Waters recreational area and brownfields mining and processing sites left over from the still significant Minnesota taconite iron ore mines and process plants.

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