PolyMet Mine Permits

Protect Water - Stop PolyMet

Toxic Sulfide Mining Does Not Belong in the Land of 10,000 Lakes!

Deny the Permits for the PolyMet Sulfide Mine


Toxic Copper-Nickel Sulfide Mining District planned for Minnesota's Arrowhead Region

PolyMet threatens Lake Superior and the Boundary Waters

Sulfide Mining Would Forever Devalue and Degrade Northeastern Minnesota


PolyMet would be Minnesota’s first ever sulfide mine and would operate for 20 years, and threatens to pollute the headwaters of Lake Superior with toxic sulfide mining waste for hundreds of years after it is closed, requiring near perpetual water treatment and maintenance of the mine and processing site.

The government’s highest priority should be to protect its citizens. The human population is dependent upon the health of our environment. Maintaining a healthy environment and protecting clean water sources must take precedence over other considerations.

The PolyMet Mine poses an unacceptable risk and will harm Minnesota’s water and environment and must be stopped

Minnesota waters

Oppose PolyMet's Mine Permits!

Comment on PolyMet's NorthMet draft permits

Go Here: http://polymet.mn.gov/

Public Comment on PolyMet's NorthMet Draft Permit to Mine

DNR Permit to Mine - Open through March 6, 2018

There will be two public hearings - February 7 in Aurora, MN and February 8 in Duluth, MN.

How to comment

Go HERE: https://survey.mn.gov/s.asp?k=151336679796

The Minnesota DNR has opened a public comment period for PolyMet’s Permit to Mine, ending March 6, 2018.

The DNR will accept comments and objections on the draft permit to mine via the State’s PolyMet Portal (http://polymet.mn.gov/) during the public comment and objection period, which concludes on Tuesday, March 6, 2018.


Comments and objections may be submitted by U.S. mail to the following addresses:


For the MDNR's Permit to Mine:

MN Department of Natural Resources
Division of Lands and Minerals 
500 Lafayette Road, Box 45
St. Paul, MN 55155-4045

For the MPCA's 401, etc., permits:

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
PolyMet Draft Permit Comments
520 Lafayette Road North
St. Paul, MN 55155-4194

As part of the draft permit to mine comment and objection process, the DNR will also hold two public meetings jointly with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). At the same time that comments are being solicited by the DNR on the permit to mine, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has issued a draft air permit, draft water quality permit, and draft 401 certification (water discharge permit) on the PolyMet - NorthMet mine project. Comments on these permits will be accepted at the same two public meetings and online (http://polymet.mn.gov/) and by U.S. mail. The MPCA public comment period is open Wednesday, Jan. 31 through Mar. 16, 2018. Public comments can also be given at one of two public meetings scheduled in February. 


Public comments and written objections will be accepted at two scheduled public meetings.

Public meetings will be held on:

Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Mesabi East (Aurora-Hoyt) High School
601 N 1st St W, Aurora, MN 55705
4:00-9:00 p.m. Open house
6:00-9:00 p.m. Public comment forum

Parking is available in the lots adjacent to the school as well as on the street.

Thursday, February 8, 2018
DECC - Duluth Entertainment Convention Center
350 Harbor Drive, Duluth, MN 55802
1:00-9:00 p.m. Open house
6:00-9:00 p.m. Public comment forum

Onsite parking in the DECC parking lot is available for $5. Additional parking information is posted at: https://decc.org/parking-directions/

* In case of a weather-related cancellation, the following alternative meeting dates have been established:  1) Wednesday, Feb. 21, Mesabi East (Aurora-Hoyt Lakes) High School – Aurora as a substitute for the scheduled Feb. 7 meeting; 2) Thursday, Feb. 22,  DECC – Duluth as a substitute for the scheduled Feb. 8 meeting. The DNR will notify the public of any cancellations or time or venue changes via GovDelivery message, press release and/or social media.


Oppose PolyMet's Mine Permits!

Below: Suggested comments to the MDNR and MPCA on PolyMet's permit applications (http://polymet.mn.gov/).


MN Department of Natural Resources
Division of Lands and Minerals 
500 Lafayette Road, Box 45
St. Paul, MN 55155-4045

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
PolyMet Draft Permit Comments
520 Lafayette Road North
St. Paul, MN 55155-4194

RE: Deny the Permits for the proposed PolyMet Sulfide Mine

Dear Commissioners Landwehr and Stine,

I am writing to urge the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency not to issue a permit to mine or wastewater discharge permit to PolyMet Mining Company. The proposed permits do not protect the water, wildlife, people and future generations from the long-term impacts of toxic sulfide mining.

Sulfide mining is simply too risky to be allowed in the water-rich environment of northeastern Minnesota.  Known mineral deposits and potential mining projects would place all three watersheds at risk:  the Lake Superior, Rainy River, and Mississippi Rivers.

PolyMet cannot be treated as a single project.  Once the state of Minnesota determines that a single sulfide mine "has proved” that mining can be permitted, this sets the standards and precedents which open the door for approval of additional projects.

PolyMet is the "snowplow" for the other sulfide mining projects in Minnesota. In fact, they could use PolyMet's excess crushing capacity and the already permitted tailings basin, expediting the approval process and making toxic pollution and tailings dam failure much riskier for those downstream.

PolyMet's Environmental Impact Statement is a massive and obscure document based upon adaptive management practices, indicating the agency does not have solutions to potential problems. The agencies are sweeping the risks under the carpet in order to meet political demands for the permitting of Minnesota's first sulfide mine.

The fact that PolyMet would release toxic heavy metals and acid mine drainage into the headwaters of the Lake Superior watershed--polluting our waters, destroying valuable wetlands and wildlife habitat, poisoning aquatic life, and posing risks to human health--is enough evidence to stop this mine.  The perpetual need for over 500 years of water treatment should have ended the PolyMet proposal years ago. The old LTV taconite tailings basin that PolyMet is proposing to re-use is already unstable, presenting the risk of catastrophic dam failure.

The mining promoters have misled our people, claiming that PolyMet’s proposed sulfide mine plan will not pollute our environment, claiming that all water runoff will be able to be contained and that reverse osmosis is a viable solution, even though the taconite industry finds it too expensive and unworkable.  It's time for truth and common sense to prevail.

The permitting of PolyMet would mean an unprecedented loss of functioning high quality wetlands in exchange for filling in some existing ditches. It would mean the erosion of Superior National Forest and public lands that belong to all of the citizens of this state and nation. It would mean the loss of native wild rice stands and the increased mercury contamination of fish within the St. Louis River watershed.  It would mean threats to public health from toxic heavy metals leaching into our water and our air, including mercury, copper, nickel, arsenic, and manganese, with the greatest impacts to pregnant women, infants, and young children—although a health impact study was denied as part of the  environmental review process.

The permitting of PolyMet is indefensible. It is against the best interests of the people of this state, most specifically those living in northeast Minnesota, to permit a mine that leaves toxic pollution and threatens those living downstream with catastrophic tailings disaster.  Deny PolyMet's permits for their proposed sulfide mine.  Sulfide mining in northern Minnesota is by far too risky, and totally unacceptable.







Mount Polley

Image: Mount Polley mine tailings pond collapse, August 2014. Photo: Cariboo Regional District

Corporate plan to turn the Arrowhead Region into a toxic waste superfund site

— for short term gain and political power —

In order to mine Minnesota's low-grade ores, these companies will need to cut costs. Once permitted, who will hold them to task?  Already our state legislature is trying to weaken sulfate standards that are not being enforced upon the existing taconite mining industry.   Taconite mines continue to operate under variances while promising to meet standards--that are not being met. How can we expect highly polluting sulfide mining to be done "right?"  The claim that we can have both sulfide mining and a clean environment is not based on science, common sense, or on the track record of the industry.


Speak up for clean water, speak out against PolyMet's risky sulfide mine!

Call the Governor and Members of Congress, and respond to their website email forms. 

Governor Mark Dayton: 800-657-3717
Senator Amy Klobuchar: 202-224-3244
Senator Tina Smith: 202-224-5641

Members of Congress can be found here: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members






You Can Take These Actions On PolyMet!

# From Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness - Petition to Oppose PolyMet Mine Permits

Go HERE: http://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51407/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=24115


# From the  Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA) -  Oppose the dangerous draft PolyMet permit to mine

Go HERE: http://www.mncenter.org/polymetminepermit.html


# From the Sierra Club - Deny PolyMet's Permit for Proposed Sulfide Mine

Go HERE:  https://sierra.secure.force.com/actions/Minnesota?actionId=AR0101542&id=70131000001iOuIAAU


# From WaterLegacy - Minnesota Agencies are Proposing to Grant PolyMet Permits!

Go HERE: http://org2.salsalabs.com/o/6606/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=25755


Protect Water - Stop PolyMet

Our state's waters and wetlands should be protected, not turned into a toxic acid slurry

— so that multinational mining corporations can make a quick buck —

PolyMet mine site

Proposed PolyMet Mine site on Superior National Forest, Minnesota (MDNR)

PolyMet:  A No-Win Proposal

PolyMet, Inc. is a Canadian company seeking to permit the first copper-nickel sulfide mine in Minnesota.  PolyMet is a test case.  If Minnesota’s regulatory agencies permit this mine, it will open the door for the mining of 5 billion tons of low grade (less than 1%) mineralization, laying waste to the Arrowhead Region of Minnesota.


What makes PolyMet a no-win situation?

• PolyMet is not seeking a permit in order to provide Minnesotans with jobs.  It is seeking to use and pollute Minnesota resources to make quick investor profits on the international market.
• The mining of less than 1% ores results in 99% waste rock.    Mining the Duluth Complex of mineralization would ultimately destroy and degrade the headwaters of Lake Superior, Rainy and Mississippi Rivers - located in northeastern Minnesota between Lake Superior and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
• The low grade mineralization would make the industry prone to market shut-down and bankruptcy. 
• Copper mineralization is bonded to sulfide ores which eventually produce sulfuric acid.  There is no copper mine in existence that is not polluting the ground or surface water.
• In addition, the sulfide mining process adds sulfates, arsenic, and toxic heavy metals into the air and water.
• Sulfates directly contribute to the methylation of mercury, with resulting fish consumption advisories.    The old LTV taconite property purchased by PolyMet is already leaching sulfates and other metals into the watershed.
• Even though mining companies are supposed to provide financial assurance for clean up, the record from other states shows that clean-up costs exceed projections, with tax payers footing the bill.  In addition, financial assurance does not prevent the destruction of forests, wetlands, water quality, wildlife habitat, scenic areas, and biodiversity. Financial assurance does not cover catastrophic mine disasters such as those that occurred at Mount Polley, B.C., Canada and the Samarco dam collapse in Brazil which killed 19 people.
• The metals mined will go on the international market.  The demand for copper comes from countries such as China and is needed for building other countries industrial infrastructure.    During this time of market uncertainty, China and newly industrializing countries are buying up copper and other metals as a commodity to bolster their currency.
• PolyMet leaves behind a trail of carbon emissions.  Nearly 1,000 acres of wetlands would be destroyed, thousands more degraded for PolyMet's open pits, releasing stored carbon into the atmosphere and eliminating a source of carbon sequestration.    The mining of low grade - high waste deposits would be equipment and energy intensive, with the semi-processed metals being shipped abroad.

PolyMet is a no-win proposal for Minnesota’s waterways, its citizens, and ultimately its future 

Someone must be held accountable for the environmental footprint left when creating 99% waste rock. When, as a global society, we resort to mining less than 1% ores, we are in trouble.  Continuing to demand more and more metals is a no-win situation.

What you can do: Tell your politicians to oppose no-win copper nickel sulfide mining in Minnesota.



Mining interests plan to turn the Arrowhead Region into a toxic sulfide mining industrial zone


Toxic Heavy Metals Have Contaminated a Stream - Appalachian Voices


Toxic Berkeley Mine Pit - Butte, Montana ( Image Source: EcoFlight )




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