PolyMet's NorthMet Mining Project


Permit to Mine
PolyMet's NorthMet Mining Project

The purpose of a permit to mine is to control the possible adverse environmental effects of mining by ensuring orderly construction and development of a mine, sound operational practices, and progressive reclamation of mined areas. This permit ensures that a mine is developed in a manner that facilitates future land uses. A permit to mine also includes provisions that govern wetland impacts and mitigation, and it is the key permit for setting financial assurance requirements for a mine. Financial assurance is required to provide adequate funding that the DNR could access in the event that a company abandons a project, fails to properly maintain or reclaim the site, or fails to correct noncompliance.

PolyMet has submitted a permit to mine application for its proposed NorthMet project. This application includes PolyMet's proposals for financial assurance and the wetland replacement plan. DNR is currently in the application review process. The DNR review of the permit to mine application will take many months. The application is reviewed by a team of DNR technical experts, additional state agencies, local governments, and DNR's independent expert contractors.

The review process looks closely at details of the proposed project to determine whether it is designed to meet state standards, provides appropriate financial assurance, and has incorporated the environmental protections outlined in the Environmental Impact Statement. The application will likely be modified in response to DNR's review. After DNR completes review of the application and associated documents, DNR will consider which draft permit conditions, if any, should be developed. If DNR determines that the application, with draft agency conditions, meets all applicable state laws, then DNR will place the draft documents on public notice for review and comment. This will be the public's opportunity to formally engage in the process prior to decisions on this application.

Where are we in the overall permitting process?

View timeline graphic (3 MB) PDF »
View timeline text only (1 MB) PDF  »

Permit-related Documents

State consultant financial assurance reports
Added on January 11, 2017

Permit to Mine Application

To view PolyMet's Permit to Mine application in PDF format please use the links below:

Appendix documents

Reference documents

April 19th, 2016 Public Meeting

Informational page from past public meeting on April 19, 2016