PolyMet's NorthMet Mining Project

PolyMet's proposed plant site

Poly Met Mining, Inc. (PolyMet) is proposing to develop a mine and associated processing facilities for the extraction of copper, nickel, and platinum group elements (PGE) in northeastern Minnesota. If permitted, the mine would be the first of its kind in the state.

 

Permitting

Before proceeding with the proposed NorthMet Mining Project, PolyMet must obtain a number of required permits and approvals. For this project the DNR is responsible for the following state permits and approvals:

Permit to Mine, Wetland Replacement Plan, Water Appropriation Permit, Dam Safety Permit, Burning Permit, Endangered Species Taking Permit, and Permit for Work in Public Waters

The DNR has received PolyMet’s Water Appropriation and Dam Safety permit applications. You can find these applications using the navigation menu above or below.

Water Appropriation Permit »
Dam Safety Permit »

At this time, these are the only two applications the company has submitted to the DNR.

 

What's next in the permitting process?

Click on the image for a full size color PDF describing the upcoming steps in the DNR's permitting process:

NorthMet DNR Permit Processes Timeline

View permitting timeline as text PDF  »

 

Environmental Review Process

Prior to the current permitting phase, the proposed NorthMet Mining Project went through an extensive environmental review process. PolyMet submitted its initial project proposal to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in February 2005. In accordance with state and federal laws, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was prepared under the leadership of the DNR, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). The Final EIS was deemed adequate by the DNR in March 2016 marking the end of the state’s environmental review process. EIS decisions for the USACE and USFS are still pending.

Environmental review webpage »

 

Project location

The proposed NorthMet Mining Project would be located in the St. Louis River watershed on the eastern edge of the Mesabi Iron Range, about 6 miles south of Babbitt.

map of sites

 

Partner links

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency »
U.S. Forest Service (USFS) »
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) »