Minnesota's first proposed copper mine in slow lane to approval

The environmental review of PolyMet's $600 million Minnesota copper mine will not be released until November 22 of this year, representing yet another delay for the project that could bring hundreds of new jobs to the Iron Range.

State and federal agencies have spent over three years on the mine's environmental impact statement, during which time debate has raged over potential risks to the Partridge and St. Louis rivers.

The first of potentially multiple public hearings are penciled in for January 2014 but "no decisions have been made yet on how much time the public will get to digest the 1,800-page scientific document."

Copper mining companies will keep an eye on the proceedings as the region in question, "from Hoyt Lakes up to the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness," is one of the largest copper nickel deposits remaining in the world.

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